Street Debater Provides Homeless With Meaningful Alternative to Begging

How one design student is changing the way in which the public interacts with the homeless.

von Naomi Ryland, February 22, 2018
street debater

Japanese designer Tomo Kihara wanted to do something purposeful with his Master Thesis, so he decided to look into the challenges faced by the homeless and whether he could solve any of them. In doing so, he came up with an incredible idea that not only empowers homeless people to move out of begging into a job, but also opens up a dialogue on some of the most important issues facing populations around the world. 

Using the Street Debater equipment, passersby are invited to enter into a debate on a current issue and, once they have decided where they stand, can put a coin onto the scale of their choice. 

Having already won the WIRED Creative Hack Award 2017, he is currently presenting his innovation at the Design Indaba in Cape Town. 

On average, street debating earns £13.5 per hour and stops 12.5 people for a friendly chat. Currently, one street debater is active in London. Kihara has now created an open source project out of it so that it can be easily scaled to multiple cities around the globe. Want to find out more? Check out his website here