Building blocks of Innovation
> " Isn't it interesting that at a time when education is teaching more "thinking" skills and "creativity" and fewer facts and with less emphasis on rote memorization of information, we are becoming less innovative? Maybe that's because you can't really be innovative unless you have a huge base of facts and information on from which to draw." said John Barclow on CNN website.
Innovation is the key to not only our future as a country but also to our dreams. If we can't think creatively it is very hard to problem solve how to overcome obstacles that keep us from living our lives fully. Whether we are children, teens or adults, innovation is a key to solving many of our daily and world challenges.
Our daughter who is a huge (I mean huge) reader has so many facts and pieces of information in her head I sometimes wonder how they will ever be of value. Then one day we were talking about knitting and she spewed out the story of Arachne and Athena and how Arachne, the greatest weaver in the land felt she could even beat Athena the Greek Goddess of War and Wisdom in weaving the most beautiful tapestry. Our daughter, goes on to explain the competition and how Arachne's work was technically beautiful yet was showing disregard for the Gods in her depiction of them. Athena, who had a temper decided that if she thought she was so great then she would let her spin forever and in doing so transformed Arachne into a small and ugly animal with the curse of being trapped in her own web weaving endlessly. The conversation then moved onto the Arachne spider who was named after this mythological woman and then our discussion moved into how she wanted to save the oceans. From knitting, to mythology to saving the marine mammals, I began to wonder if this was the key to solving some of life and the worlds problems; knowledge no matter how useless it might seem is the key to our creativity and ability to innovate.
As adults trying to figure out how to live our lives in this world that seems to be full of problems, being innovated and creative is our best tool. Whether it is solving small problems like finding a good childcare sitter, how to save for your child's college, retirement, and enjoy life at the same time, or learning to cook vegetarian, try pulling out all those little bits of knowledge you learned through the years and see if you can creatively innovate some new solutions.
So the next time your kid asks you why they need to memorize every European country and their capitals?"
You can answer, it might give you that one nugget of detail that you need to solve an important problem in life, you never know.