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Expectations of the course

Read the following article which will outline what the course offers.
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Welcome to the course

Welcome to Solving Sustainability Challenges with Te Ao Māori (Māori World View). This course offers you a chance to solve a sustainable challenge using a bicultural approach learning more about the Design Thinking process.

The learning outcomes of the course are:

  • Examine a sustainability issue from a bicultural perspective
  • Apply the Design Thinking model to local cultural contexts
  • Discuss Matauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) and link it to your own indigenous perspective

Course syllabus:

The course syllabus is broken up into 3 weeks with 3 hours of activity each week. The learning will be broken up into short snippets of information in the form of a video or article and then an activity to carry out.

  • Week 1: Get to know each other, understand the challenge and discovery
  • Week 2: Define the challenge, and come up with some ideas
  • Week 3: Test the ideas and reflect on learnings


While working through this course it is important to be open to the process, and the perspectives we may hear so to help us we use mindsets. Stanford, and Ideo have some great mindsets for Design Thinking (have a look) but for this course lets focus on the following:

  • Focus on Human Values. All design thinking mindsets put the human at the centre. This Mindset ensures the user is involved in all decision making.
  • Embrace Experimentation. This mindset is about learning and thinking by creation. It is similar to show don’t tell except that there is also another mindset at play; fail fast. This means it is better to find out quickly when something doesn’t work and we can learn from that failure.
  • Radical Collaboration/Kotahitanga. This mindset is about including as many people from all backgrounds and experiences in your challenge as it takes a multidisciplinary approach to truly understand a problem
  • Te Ao Māori Values. Important values are mauri meaning life force, and wairua meaning spiritual dimension. The mindset also asks that we know that everything hasmauri and wairua. E.g. Taiao mauri is environmental such as rivers and forests, hapu mauri is community, And whanau mauri is economic.
  • Ako: Ako means to learn. This means that everyone has value, everyone is a learner and everyone is a teacher. As a mindset users are encouraged to bring lived experiences to the challenge. This means we share story of people and place. Every story has value.

You will notice through this course that we have both English and Māori headings. We don’t expect you to know them but it helps you develop a sense of biculturalism.


Let us know where you are from and why are doing the course in the comments below. Say hi to someone else – so we can build some virtual relationships as we progress.

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Solving Sustainability Challenges with Te Ao Māori (Māori World View)

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