Scott Keoni Shigeoka is an artist, designer and writer dedicated to awakening community, transforming trauma and bridging divides. Currently housed at IDEO’s social impact arm, his work explores collective action, distributed leadership, hacker/activist culture and new formats of gathering. His projects focus on human experiences—death, identity, healing and belonging—and have been featured in Variety Magazine, MTV, The Washington Post and Fast Company. He loves freestyle rapping, islands (born in Hawaii, Fulbright in Iceland) and tree houses. He’s writing a book about people on the outskirts of society and is a student of Japanese tea ceremonies and wabi-sabi (侘寂). His favorite word is ‘komorebi’ (木漏れ日) which means the sunlight that shines between the leaves of a tree.
I have created a meaningful impact with: Hewlett Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia, AARP, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Nike, Mastercard, Ford, IDEO, USAID, the UAE government, and the cities of San Francisco, Alameda, Sunnyvale, Concord and San Leandro.
Second Chance brought groups of ten strangers through a 2-hour experience where they faced their death in a reimagined two-story building. It premiered at the Reimagine End of Life Festival and ran 41 shows in the heart of San Francisco.
What if facing your death allowed you to live more fully? Participants were diverse: a stage four cancer patient, a country’s ambassador and a young man grieving the loss of his brother. The experience included live and composed music, virtual reality, dance, theater and audience participation. More than 75 percent of contributing artists were women, people of color and/or queer. Though an upstart endeavor, commissioned artists were paid. Variety Magazine. KALW. KQED.
2015, 2016, 2018
Saga Artist Residency is a 10-day experience that takes place in the small fishing village of Eyrarbakki in southern Iceland. The residency brings international artists together to collaborate with the local community on different themes.
What if artists could come together and create in new ways? Residents have collaborated with diverse groups (local youth and artists) and spaces (abandoned fish storage units and Litla-Hraun, the largest prison in Iceland). Together with the local community, they’ve explored topics like eliminating single-use plastics, boyhood, embracing our weirdness, fighting polarization and loneliness, and regional ghost stories.
OpenIDEO Chapters incubate local communities in more than 30 cities worldwide. Volunteer teams of organizers lead each Chapter, connecting local actors to the global topics that OpenIDEO focuses on.
What if people organized locally around the power of design to solve social issues? Each Chapter is driven by three fundamental principles: prioritizing relationships (belonging), centering on meaningful work (purpose), and a bias toward action (impact). Although geographically distributed, the network of Chapters harmoniously organize around identical topics and timelines. They have brought new insights, people, ideas and energy to important societal issues like access to water, public health, international development, educational equity and opportunities for youth.
The Oakland Garage became a container for creatives to share their work and refine their craft. The 8x12’ garage became a community space for storytelling, music shows, beatmaking workshops, cyphers, poetry, talks about sex, political activations, exhibitions and political organizing.
What if we developed community arts programming with the constraints of a single-car garage? In a place like the San Francisco Bay Area, rising rent costs means it’s harder for artists to secure space and share their work. How could we build on E. F. Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful philosophy and utilize a tiny space to create broader impact?
Saga Fest is a music festival on the Stokkseyrarsel farm in southern Iceland focused on the power of stories to transform people.
What if a festival could help people connect to each other and nature through stories? The sound of participants’ heartbeats were collected and produced into a live track. Musicians of varied genres performed (Robot Koch, Axel Flovent, Sísý Ey, Soffía Björg, Ylja…), contributing artists produced small- and large-scale installations, and each night ended with communal fireside storytelling and songs. During the day, participants enjoyed workshops (meditation, dance, permaculture, shamanism, skateboard design…) and food by local farmers, organic chefs and fishermen.
Saga Summit is an accelerator for cross-sector collaborative projects by bringing together creative, business, social and political leaders for a multi-day gathering.