The Future Of Innovation ... Behaviour Change And A New World View

Ms Marci Segal

A child in kindergarten today will retire in 2073. What will our world be like then? Paraphrasing Dorothy as she told her dog upon landing in Munchkinland in the Wizard of Oz film, “Toto, we won't be Kansas anymore.” Conditions will have changed due to our innovations to come, powered by passion and the search for satisfaction. Our standards for brilliance are evolving. We must be prepared to teach our children how to embrace life with the emerging worldview: the era of innovation.

Innovation is societal; new ideas turn into successful products and services when others value the invention. The currency for innovation comes from personal creativity. Creativity is a quality each possesses and expresses uniquely. As Margaret Mead once said, “In so much as a person has done something new for himself, he can be said to have committed a creative act.” Generically, creativity means having new ideas and making new decisions. Innovation connotes collaboration to bring a new idea/solution to life.

In 1980, a professor of cultural anthropology was asked by an undergraduate student studying creativity to define it from her perspective. “Creativity,” the professor said, “is bad manners. Imagine doing something creative at the dinner table. You get your hands slapped. That’s what creativity is.” We must step away from that consideration and walk toward building social networks that give new ideas a soft place to land.

How do we do this? By teaching children skills and providing them examples to build their social, technological, economic, environmental and political literacy. It is our role to encourage their thinking, questioning, imagining, and synthesizing. Teaching children though, means that we need to walk the talk of innovation and creativity at home as well as at school.

Nothing is true what we were taught when we were small, nothing is true, not as we thought… nothing at all. We were taught the ‘hand slap’ mentality in the pre-innovation era, this will change. In the future for innovation our attitudes will shift toward inviting curiosity, encouraging the production of alternative solutions before settling in on a 'right' answer, and through cultivating visualization, the enjoyment of fantasy and fun. We will be looking at things from many perspectives and extending the boundaries of what is known or assumed. We will be asking new questions from which we will create new solutions and we will be emotionally aware.

The future of innovation means that everyone on the planet will be aware of their capacity to use their creativity to make the world a better place and to make their place in the world better too. And they will know they can rely on others to work with them to allow meaningful life giving innovations to succeed. This has already begun. Since 2002 people in over 48 countries have been celebrating World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 - 21. Won’t you too?

Article © 2009 Ms Marci Segal. All rights reserved.

about the author...

Ms Marci Segal

Ms Marci Segal

affiliation:   World Creativity And Innovation Week April 15 21

position:  Co-founder

country:  Canada

area of interest:  Management consultant for creative thinking in organizations, creativity activist

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