Creating Innovators

Creating Innovators

The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World

Book - 2012
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In this ground-breaking book, education expert Tony Wagner provides a powerful rationale for developing an innovation-driven economy. He explores what parents, teachers, and employers must do to develop the capacities of young people to become innovators. He profiles compelling young American innovators, revealing how the adults in their lives nurtured their creativity and sparked their imagination, while teaching them to learn from failure and persevere. Wagner identifies a pattern-a childhood of creative play leads to deep-seated interests, which in adolescence and adulthood blossom into a deeper purpose for career and life goals. Play, passion, and purpose: these are the forces that drive young innovators.

Wagner then looks more widely at the education system and shows how we can apply this knowledge as educators, and what parents can do to compensate for poor schooling. He takes readers into the most forward-thinking schools, colleges, and workplaces in the country, where teachers and employers are developing cultures of innovation based on collaboration, interdisciplinary problem-solving, and intrinsic motivation. The result is a timely, provocative and inspiring manifesto that will change how we look at our schools and workplaces, and provide us with a roadmap to creating the changemakers of tomorrow.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2012.
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781451611496
1451611498
Branch Call Number: 373 W1253
Characteristics: xviii, 270 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Compton, Robert A.

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Nov 06, 2015

The author proposes that "the solution to our economic and social challenges is […] One word: innovation."

He further proposes that we, as a country, out-innovate the other countries so we can produce and sell better products to them.

That's a very narrow-minded view of creativity. In fact, this is what's been done throughout history. Globalization, industrialization, colonization, ... were always based on exchanging 'better' products in return for resources and driving other countries into debt.

Not surprisingly, one of the first examples of innovators interviews in the book is about a student who created a sort of mowing machine attached to a bicycle and then, wait for it, started a company in Tanzania to sell to rural populations and even provided them with credit options.
Hey, selling shovels to rural workers so they can work for you and also pay interest! This is not innovation. This is has been done to death.

Here is a final quote:

"We have to become the country that produces more ideas to solve more different kinds of problems. We have to become the country that leads the way in developing the new technologies for a sustainable planet and affordable health care. We have to become the country that creates the new and better products, processes, and services that other countries want and need. We can no longer create wealth by outmanufacturing or outconsuming the rest of the world. We must outinnovate our economic competitors."

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