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Innovation # 11 - Are You Kidding?
You Should Be!
Last week I had the chance to meet with about 30 middle school students at Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana’s annual Middle School Entrepreneurship Camp. I’ve had the pleasure of being invited to this event for a few years now, and I always look forward to it.
This year I conducted what I call a Young Visionaries workshop. Young Visionary is a term we use at Believe In A Dream to refer to a young person who uses their entrepreneurial skills to make make their community (or the whole world) a better place - not just to make money. We want our young people to understand that entrepreneurship and innovation can make positive impact in the world - not just make a living.
I showed them a few examples, and then asked the students to each write down an idea about a problem they see in their community that needs fixed. To come up with “a problem worth solving”. To be innovative.
What happened next was very different than when I ask the same question of people who are older.
The middle school students all immediately, with no hesitation, wrote down an idea. I’m used to people taking a few minutes to think and formulate an answer. These kids were all done about as soon as I was done asking!
Then we passed the mic around and heard some of their ideas. They were all insightful. Some were based on their observations of global issues. Some were based on their observations of issues right in their own back yard. All were spot on.
It was so easy for them to identify a problem worth solving - and to be able to articulate why that problem needed to be solved!
To innovate more effectively, maybe we could all benefit from seeing as clearly as a kid sees - to better see straight to the root of the issue!