The Technovation Global Challenge is a 12 week app development challenge was first launched in 2010 in the United States of America.
Young women, ages 10-18, are provided with curriculum support to develop mobile apps that address real-world problems. The challenge encourages teams of young women to connect with volunteer mentors to support them through the challenge. In 2013 the Technovation challenge went global.
TŌNUI Collab wanted to specifically address the disparity of kohine Maori in tech so in 2019 we formed Technovation Tairāwhiti - a collaborative initiaitve with other educators and communicaty activators in Tairāwhiti - to make the challenge more culturally sustaining; we hosted weekly wananga, invite guest speakers in to inspire the kohine, take a collective approach to mentorship, take a tuakana-teina approach to learning the skills needed, and embed manaakitanga in the project.
In 2019 we held wananga with 32 kohine Māori on the Technovation Tairāwhiti challenge, once a week kohine Māori focussed on different parts of the app development - problem identification, market research, MVP (minimum viable product) finetuning, wireframing, app development, branding, and pitching. Every week, in addition to the wananga focus, we would take time to strengthen our relationships through manaakitanga; our team prepared lunch for each other, one or more of the kohine led karakia kai and we sat together to eat and connect. At the end of the 12 week challenge these kohine Māori had formed groups and developed apps that addressed problems such as the mispronounciation of Māori names by teachers, the identification and safe rehoming of stray animals, the mental health needs of rangatahi Māori, and an app that provided pakeke with youth volunteers for household tasks. The teams presented their apps to a hall full of people and a panel of judges with one of the team making it to the Global Semi-Finals.
In 2020, the interest grew and TŌNUI Collab supported 84 kohine Māori to participate in the Technovation Tairāwhiti challenge.