Kiva hosts high school students for some design thinking

Young people everywhere are taking action to celebrate the Month of Microfinance this April, but one group of students and teachers from Overlake School in Seattle actually made the trek to spend the week with us at Kiva Headquarters in San Francisco. These impressive young students took part in a ‘Design Thinking’ exercise to help develop some of Kiva’s future projects and initiatives. 

Design thinking is a strategy for creative brainstorming that encourages participants to ideate, innovate, and continue looping back until a real solution is found that meets real world needs (exactly the sort of thing we like to do here at Kiva). These ninth and eleventh grade students came to Kiva to take on the design and development of ideas around some of the new projects we're planning for the rest of the year.

The students were given a challenge and split into two teams for several days of a design thinking challenge. Then they presented their ideas to a panel of external experts, educators and a few members of Kiva’s staff.  Needless to say, we were simply blown away by the creativity, innovation, eloquence, and poise exhibited by these young activists.

We can’t begin to express how grateful we are to have had such a wealth of inspiration and innovation in the Kiva office this week!  We love the enthusiasm that such impassioned students bring to Kiva’s mission of changing the world through microfinance.

Thank you, Overlake students and teachers for taking the time to make Kiva better.

Are you a student or educator participating in the Month of Microfinance this year? Let us know what you're up to at! Or tweet about it with the hashtage #kivamomf and we'll do our best to retweet your actions to our 500,000+ followers!

Have questions about the Month of Microfinance? Send them our way at

About the author

Emily Wakefield

A native of southern California, Emily is a recent graduate from Santa Clara University where she studied Economics and Spanish Studies. The highlight of her college experience was the semester she spent abroad in Granada, Spain. She knew she wanted to pursue a career in economic development after reading Half the Sky. Emily will be joining the Marketing and Communications team as a Blog and Social Media Intern and is especially excited to find new and creative ways to spread Kiva’s work to more people. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, listening to country music, and re-watching Friends episodes for the millionth time.