Centreworks, an innovation and collaboration enterprise at Center College, recently launched the Urban Innovation Team, a new student-led program to work with Danville residents and visitors to identify challenges and suggest solutions. downtown navigation solutions. CentreWorks has submitted a proposal to the City of Danville for the project, which is led by interns Isaiah Arroyo ’22 (Austin, Texas), John Bingaman ’24 (Louisville), and Kali Hernandez Fraire ’25 (Dallas, Texas).
“We want to hear what everyone has to say about downtown navigation — what the issues are with things like parking and using crosswalks,” Arroyo said.
As part of the process, the inTerns survey merchants, commuters and visitors throughout the summer to identify barriers to the downtown experience. In August, they will present their findings and suggested solutions to the City Manager and City Engineer.
The student team explained that the purpose of this project is based on Centreworks’ human-centered innovation approach, as well as the entrepreneurial spirit, which guides all students in this initiative. .
“The human-centered approach uses the human experience at every step of the problem-solving process, and it ensures a solution that directly serves its consumers, who are residents of Danville, as well as anyone who regularly visits the downtown Danville,” Bingaman said.
While the role of the urban innovation team is centered on identifying problems and proposing solutions for the benefit of the whole community, the trainees emphasized a more nuanced professional competence than they acquire through experience – learning to listen – a key element of the human-centred approach.
“Centreworks tries to be a really inclusive place, and it showed. They listen to people. That’s why the city hired us,” Fraire said.
“Our goal is to speak to as many community members as possible,” Bingaman continued. “We want everyone to feel that their voice and their experience are essential to this process.”
Andrea Margida, co-founder and executive director of Centreworks, reiterated the professional skills that interns develop through this initiative.
“Students’ work stems from experiential learning situations. They learn and practice professional etiquette throughout their time at Centreworks,” Margida explained. “Because we are located in downtown Danville and a diverse set of people regularly enter our space, students are automatically placed in a position where they use professional skills.