Looking back: Hive Vietnam 2018
Reflecting on the impact of the Hive Vietnam Equitable Health Design program, 2018
I have always been extremely passionate about cultural competency, especially when working with underserved and vulnerable communities. Through practicing human-centered design (HCD) in Vietnam, I learned how to conduct research and create interventions that are not only effective, but more importantly- culturally appropriate. Our research team centered the community’s narratives and needs in every single step of our research, from the beginning empathy stages to the prototyping stages. Returning home, I began working for a non-profit serving foster youth and families in San Diego. Even though I lacked exposure to the Child Welfare system prior to my job, I was still able to cultivate strong and trusting relationships with those I served through practicing values learned in HCD, empathy, active listening, and cultural humility. As opposed to simply learning from the communities I serve, I hope to continue advocating and learning alongside them, with enthusiasm, compassion, and solidarity.
— Kimberly Ha
Using human-centered design (HCD) with the Hive team and Animals Asia turned out to be one of the most transformative experiences of my life. From co-designing with community members to prototyping ideas for collective care, I learned how to advocate for community voices, facilitate creative problem solving, and ultimately leverage design for social change. Feeling the itch to continue working overseas, I spent the following year in Berlin working as a UX researcher and most recently completed a Fulbright fellowship in Vietnam where I incorporated HCD into the English learning curriculum of high school classrooms. Currently, I work at a TechEd nonprofit where I hope to continue facilitating creative problem solving and using HCD to reimagine learning experiences of marginalized student populations.
— Lena-Phuong Tran
The Hive Vietnam program taught me the power of understanding different value systems. More specifically, it showed me how much time it takes to deeply consider the myriad factors that drive human behavior, and how much constant, conscious effort is needed to minimize one’s own biases and see the world through another’s eyes. After graduation, I wanted to continue challenging myself in these ways and applied for a Fulbright Taiwan Fellowship. In Taiwan, I taught elementary school students English and American culture (though grappled over how to do this thoughtfully – left) and observed festivities in our local community (right). As I reflect on my Hive Vietnam program and Fulbright, I see the continuity in how one led to the other and how they have both helped me develop a sense of open-mindedness and flexibility that I hope to carry into my future career.
— Laura Jia Zhang