A second delegation of 17 design-thinking digital innovation students will be at Stanford University and in Silicon Valley near San Francisco this month.

South Taranaki youth are confronting unprecedented global challenges so it's important for the Ngāti Ruanui iwi to use its networks to expose them to the kind of learning for a solution-focused culture, former Stanford University student and initiative founder Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said.

From August 21 to 29 the young people will attend a programme created by Ngarewa-Packer and colleagues from Stanford and Singularity University. Included in the programme is design-thinking with D-School at Stanford University, and IDEO, led by E-Parachute's & Chair Singularity University's Gary Bolles.

They'll hear from a series of people navigating the world of professional gaming at Esports Arena Oakland, Coding Dojo at UC Berkeley University and they'll learn about digital design - including from Kiwi Sarah Clement of Twitch (a professional gaming zone), and get a taste of science, art and technology at San Francisco's Exploratorium.


"Many of our rangata'i attending are students of Pātea Area School, Hāwera High, Hāwera Intermediate and Ngāti Ruanui Kura Kaupapa. Our youth are naturally talented at innovation and the digital world. We're really hoping it'll inspire rangata'i to use design thinking to create a life path which combines their interests with digital economy," Ngarewa-Packer said.

E-gaming is now a recognised sport and professionals can earn high incomes from it. The gamers are some of the most watched vloggers on YouTube, but the skills learned actually help in all aspects of life, she said.

"Gamers learn to be resilient, empathetic team players, with a smart approach to website use and password protection. They learn about digital footprints, communication, citizenship and safety as well as strategising."

Some of the students on the trip have said sport is important in their lives and they want to know how to use that interest to get into higher levels of tertiary education and go to universities like Stanford.