The Brand New Way to be in Fashion in Your Own Way (Round 2)

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Parents, do you agree or not that the pace of innovation and change is faster now than one year ago? Do you want a real-life example?

In October last year, I wrote an article about a French shoemaker that wanted to use 3D printers in its stores. The idea was to allow customers to personalize their shoes, more specifically the heel.

Most of these projects never reach retail stores. They are marketing material just to create a buzz. Eram, the French shoemaker, sees it differently. Eram seems to walk the talk (which is quite funny to walk the talk when your core business is the manufacture of shoes 😊 ).

 

Ladies, if you live in the lovely west part of France (or want to take some holidays there), you can go to the City of Nantes and ask to personalize your own pair of shoes. Using a tablet, you will be able to choose the shape, the color, add or remove some details and validate your own creation. Once printed, you will be able to leave the store wearing a unique pair of shoes. If a few weeks later your taste or your mood has changed, you can get a new pair of unique heels designed by you for just 10 Euro.

 

Why am I coming back to that story? I want to make it really clear that creativity, critical thinking and imagination will be the kind of skills your children will not have the luxury to live without if they want to enjoy their lives.

Do you want your son to be the guy who opens the gate where you live or work? Do you want your daughter to be the cashier where you buy your morning coffee? I am sure you want something more fulfilling for your loved ones. And you know what? These kinds of jobs will no longer exist once they will have grown up. Automation and artificial intelligence will make people at this level of competency useless. Yes, useless. I am quite confident you will continue your good parenting work and stimulate, encourage and boost your kids as much as you can. I am really extra sure that you don’t want them to get the Universal Basic Income once it will be available.

 

3D THINKING is more than ever the way to go!

 

Enjoy your day!

Has Michelin just created something great using 3D printing technology?

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Today, I just want to give you an update about an industry that was quite conservative until one day the 3D printing revolution took off.

Your kids would love it if it was already available. So much funnier than the regular ones.

What is the common point between your car, your bicycle and the pair of roller your kids like so much? Yes, the wheels. And that’s the expertise area of Michelin, the tire manufacturer. Like all the big player in this industry (Michelin ranks year after year in the top three), it is doing intensive research for the future using 3D printing technology.

I already wrote an article about the Good Year project using 3D printing. Amazing concept but, in my opinion, quite far in the future to reach the market. Michelin has a less revolutionary approach but is also really creative and much more pragmatic. The idea is to commercialize a wheel with no air, designed to last as long as your car (and maybe, one day, bicycle, rollers…).

The tread of the wheel could be 3D printed when it is excessively worn out or when a different kind of tire could be required for your safety, for example in snowy conditions.

Dear dads and mums, please bear in mind that everything you see that has been unchanged for so many years could be challenged by the 3D printing revolution. Play with your children and try to imagine what all the things around you could become if you could 3D print them. Challenge them and ask them to challenge you. In the future, the only limits will be the ones our kids will have when they will have grown up. If we do a good parent’s “job”, it should be very interesting and creative.

Have a great day!

What if I had found the best 8 years old birthday gift ever?

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Hi parents!

My son’s birthday comes up soon but let me tell you what happened last Monday night. The scientific and business development departments of the French Embassy in China organized an event around 3D printing. Of course, I jumped on the occasion to see and learn new things.

To make a long story short, a delegation from France comprised of entrepreneurs, teachers, and researchers was there. It was really high level in industrial 3D printing and research (I will probably give you more details in another blog post). There were some Chinese speakers too. One of them was a great Architect-Artist-Entrepreneur named Lei Yu. This amazing and creative guy is a specialist in 3D printing. To work on his projects in the best conditions possible, he has created the best place I have ever seen to let creative minds like himself and his team do amazing pieces of art for his lucky customers.

Just look at the pictures. I am sure that lots of you would like to spend many hours and days there with your children to give birth to all your funny and crazy ideas. For sure, my son and I would like to do it.

More than 1,000 3D printed pieces!

Lei Yu has assembled his own big volume 3D printers. He has even designed his own model of a 3D printer head to meet the requirements of his projects. He can easily switch from one kind of printing material to another simply by changing the head. Smart idea, don’t you think? One of his creations has more than 1,000 different 3D printed pieces.

And do you know what incredible tool he uses for some of his projects? A robotic arm! In fact, he has several of them. The biggest is at least four meters long! He and his team have coded their own program to make these robotic arms 3D print huge structures. It seems that these robots are writing in the air. Impressive.

And what do you think I asked Lei Yu?

My son will have his birthday in about one month. I asked Lei Yu if it was possible to come back to see this incredible place in a few weeks with my son. He kindly agreed.

Can you imagine an 8 years old boy, with his “under construction” brain, in a workshop like this with so many 3D printers, tools and materials? He will be more than excited. And when he will see these incredible robotic arms in action, he will be amazed beyond limits.

Why do all of that?

I want that my son to see this kind of place because I would like him to have an open mind on possibilities and opportunities. Department stores and malls are sometimes useful but they do little to enhanced our loved one’s mind in a way that will be mandatory to have a great life.

I encourage all of you, parents, to shut down the TV screen and to create or find places that will ignite the brain of these future adults.

I wish you a creative day!

 

Hi parents! Hurry up! Tell all your friends that 3D printing will be everywhere soon!

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I am not joking. Those who realize this too late will have missed opportunities to grow businesses, or at the very least, their mind. If you know people with kids, call them! Send them social medial messages or a good old email (always very useful) to tell them that at 3D Roundhouse we teach exactly that: 3D modeling for 3D printing. It is a new way of thinking: 3D thinking. It is a very powerful exercise for your brain, and those of your kids (Science and math genius use it all the time)!

MASS PRODUCTION OF 3D PRINTED SHOES IS COMING IN 2017!

Do you find me a little bit pushy? Do you? Let me tell you what’s happening right now: mass production of 3D printed shoes. What? It is not a mistake. Your eyes have read it right: mass production of 3D printed shoes. My dear 3D Roundhouse faithful readers, you certainly remember my article about 3D printed shoes a few months ago. Only the heels could be printed to personalize ladies’ shoes in some retail stores.

A few weeks ago, I wrote another article about a company I like very much: Carbon. At that time, they had just released their first 3D printing mass production system. And you know what? Adidas is using the Carbon mass production system to 3D print the entire sole of a new sport shoe model: the Futurecraft 4D. (See accompanying photos) This running shoe was presented as a concept in 2015. It will be mass produced this very year. Thanks to the DLS (Digital Light Synthesis) technology developed by Carbon, Adidas can 3D print a very sophisticated sole in one piece. I love this technology. It plays with oxygen and light to solidify many kinds of materials (mainly polymers). It is amazingly fast, clean, strong and accurate. 5,000 pairs of shoes will be commercialized before the end of this year. And more than 100,000 pairs will be made in 2018.

3D PRINTED FABRIC WILL COME FAST TOO!

A little bit further from the consumer world (maybe not for an extended period of time), The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, just published the result of their latest 3D printed creation: space aged chain-mail. This incredible creation will have many applications. The inside can absorb heat; the outside can reflect heat and light. It could protect both space vehicles and astronauts.

If they find a way to 3D print it with a mixture of nanobots, they could create a soft fabric easily foldable and transportable that could become really stiff and take any shapes on demand. The nanobots would give this space fabric the exact shape required by the situation. If I am on a trip on Mars with my son and need to build a hard cover to protect some outside equipment from a sand storm or I am outside myself and have no time to go back to my vehicle, it could be really handy to have this kind of amazing fabric.

You could even add 3D printed solar cells on top and incorporate micro batteries on the bottom to store the energy. I could easily imagine dozens of applications.

Did you know some scientists believe that we will 3D print fabrics when we can print at the micron level (each layer being one millionth of a meter thick)? It will come fast. You will get the exact dress or jacket you have in your mind. Chances are that you will order it using voice commands. An AI (artificial intelligence) entity will take care of every step from the modeling to the delivery a few hours later (maybe a few minutes!). A drone will land right at your door or where you will need to wear this tailor-made masterpiece for the meeting or rendezvous of your life.

3D THINKING IS THE WAY TO GO!

As you can see, things are changing faster than most people think. So, hurry! Spread the word:

3D modeling for 3D printing could help your kids and friends anticipate the change in a much easier way. And there will be so many benefits from it!

C.I.C. (Curiosity, Imagination and Creativity) is the best asset for our kids

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Hi Parents!

Do you remember the good old days? When we used to print with one 3D printer at a time? It was far away in the past: in November 2016!!!

I am not kidding! It is amazing how faster and faster things are moving. And you know what? I think the acceleration of the change has accelerated 😊 a lot in a few months.

I give you one example right away. In my November 2016 article “Parents, Simple And Effective Experiences To Do Good For Your Children’s Future”, I talked about a company named Carbon. At the beginning of 2016 they presented a revolutionary 3D printer: the M1. The speed and quality of the print were amazing. A few months later, as I was writing about them, they were almost overtaken by competitors.

Since my article, only four months ago, Carbon has improved a lot its products. They just launched a revolutionary 3D printing system you can scale up at will: The Carbon Speedcell™.

START YOUR OWN 3D PRINTING FACTORY

“Stop prototyping. Start producing” is the slogan you can see on the front page on their website. The idea is to use from one to as many as you need M1 or the new M2 3D printer, add one or several Smart Part Washer (a machine able to clean up 3D printed models very fast) and you can start your own 3D printing factory anywhere you want. You can print with many different materials. Soft, hard, high temperature resistant and many, many more.

NewPro3D was the “opponent” of Carbon in my former article. What will be their answer to the Carbon Speedcell? I don’t know yet. They have an impressive ILI technology (Intelligent Liquid Interface) to play with to create amazing 3D printers but nothing appears on their website. Maybe a surprise in a few months? A few weeks? A few days? Tomorrow???

These new technologies give us new possibilities. Somebody will have to come up with new ideas. Our kids could do it.

APPLY THE C.I.C. METHOD

Things are moving so fast now. Being able to find the right information or idea at the right time AND being able to use it appropriately is a skill more and more looked after in the professional world. New problems need new solutions.

Dads and mums, keep nurturing and improving the Curiosity, Imagination and Creativity of your sons and daughters. It will allow them to make the difference with the crowd when they will face new services or products. Curiosity, Imagination and Creativity will help them to come up with new solutions when new problems, or opportunities, will stand in front of them. They will become the go-to person in their companies.

 

Parents, keep up the good job!

Is Your Child Crazy…or Not???

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Hi Parents!

From time to time (or very often!), do you think that your child has some really crazy ideas?

My son has some recurring conversation topics. The planet Mars is one of them. He would like to 3D print a new house for us using the dust and sand you can find on the surface of Mars or by crushing some rocks into powder. He even thinks to use some elements you could find in the waste bin like plastics or aluminum cans.

I could have told him that his ideas are stupid or at least crazy. But before telling this kind of harsh words to my loved one, come with me a few minutes to check if he could be onto something.

The D-Shape

One guy is on his way to 3D printing on the moon: Enrico Dini. This really creative Italian man has invented the D-Shape, a 3D printer able to print big structures.

3D Printing on the Moon

The ESA (European Spatial Agency) plans to use the D-Shape technology on the moon. They want to send an automated 3D printer that will print a lunar base before sending humans to live and work in it.

3D Printing Stone-Like Objects

Above the beauty of being able to print several meters high or long objects, which is already great, the end result is a stone-like object. It is like sculpting without a hammer and a chisel. Enrico uses sand and a magnesium-based binder to get this amazing result.

The First Ever 3D Printed Bridge is in Spain!

The D-Shape technology was very recently used by the IAAC (Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, Spain) to print nothing else but the first ever 3D printed bridge!

Can you believe it? A bridge! Ok, that one is “only” 12 m long and 1.75 m large. But it is a real pedestrian bridge installed in a park in the south of Madrid, Spain. They used a slightly different material (a concrete powder with a thermoplastic polypropylene binder) but the result is still a stone-like bridge. Amazing job!

Is Your Child Crazy…or Not?

As I very often say to my son:

“The only limitation to what you can do is your own imagination.”

If you can think it, you can create it (or somebody else will be able to create it for you). If you have a crazy idea, you can either work on it right away, or you will see it done by somebody else in the months or years to come.

The speed of innovation is increasing exponentially.

 

So, parents, I have a personal request for you:

Please, never ever again tell your son or daughter that his or her idea is stupid or crazy. This “stupid” or “crazy” idea could lead her or him to revolutionize an entire industry.

ENJOY YOUR CRAZY IDEAS TOGETHER!

What is it to Be Human in the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

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Hi Parents,

How many among you have followed the 2017 World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland? Many leaders in industries, politics, arts and media go there to have private and open meetings and discuss what they think the world should be.

One open conference had a very interesting title: What is it to Be Human in the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

Five panelists were invited to this conference. They represented government, culture, religion, social networking and the game industry. You will find below what I found the most interesting and what could spark some reflections and questions in your mind.

Buckle your seat belt!

Melanie Joly

Minister for Canadian Heritage, Department of Canadian Heritage of Canada

Art and culture have an important economic potential.

[Canada sees] the 4th industrial revolution as a creative revolution and nothing is more human than creativity.

Investing in Art and Culture will lead to innovation and that will lead to economic growth, which is inclusive growth.

My Takeaway for mums and dads:

I think that the human mind is great at creating content and innovative ways to deliver it. Daily content like basic facts or economic and financial information are already available and will be more and more processed by AI, delivered directly to us on our smartphones. But the human imagination and creativity, if nurtured and developed, will be a key factor to differentiate us from AI.

 

Nicole Schwab

Co-Founder and President, EDGE Certified Foundation

We need to be able to connect with one another. To connect deeply in a very human way.

There is a deep need for human connection. Human connection gives us joy and happiness.

Many old people regret one thing: They wish they had spent more time with the people they love.

Deep connection is a key of our well being and happiness, the key to the challenges that we are facing.

But this connection doesn’t just happen.

Empathy and compassion [are key players here.]

The problem is we have never been so distracted than now.

We spend less and less time reflecting. We spend less and less time in a state when we are not on our apps, when we are not distracting our mind.

We have all experienced a moment when we are talking to somebody who is physically in front of you but you know his mind is running about the tasks he has to do today or whatever. But you could feel the difference with the same person physically in front of you but his mind is fully present. If someone is fully present you can feel it.

We need to intentionally make more time to practice being fully present and engage in processes that will help us develop empathy and compassion.

My Takeaway for mums and dads:

When we are with our kids, we have to be with them fully. We need to stop our minds from wandering, thinking about something else than what is related to the moment we are having with them. And, please, no more iPhone between our children and us (either way, no more “nanny smartphones” and no more mum or dad using their mobile instead of being really present when it is children time). Attention span is shrinking among kids AND adults. ADD and ADHD (both behavioral problems) are rising faster than the power of your computer.

We give ourselves less time to think, to reflect. We are becoming a reaction machine. And a reaction machine is obviously very seldom a proactive machine. If we have less reflection moments, we have less great and pure creation moments. As a parent, we need to show our kids and teach them what proactivity is. It is crucial for our little ones to get a grip on the life they will have. Otherwise, they will get a really sad life.

“We are responsible, as humans, as citizens, of what we use and how we use it” applies to digital tools and digital content.

 

Ahmad Iravani

President and Executive Director, Center for the Study of Islam and the Middle East (CSIME)

Being human and living in a digital age is an issue.

If we can use digital medias and digital tools towards to help others, toward education, then that is something highly recommended.

My Takeaway for mums and dads:

Computers, tablets and smartphones are great tools for us (parents) and for our children but we have to use them in a smarter way.

It’s a SMART-phone, not a DUMB-phone! But so many people seem to forget it.

 

Allen Blue

Co-Founder and Vice-President, Products, LinkedIn Corporation

Every year, we look at the most important skills that people are hiring in the world. And for the last few years, every one of the top ten skills has been a technology skill. So, for 2016, the top skill has been Data scientist.

The main reason I am here at the Forum is to talk to different companies and governments about how we help people make a transition from a world that is focused on a diverse collection of skills to a world that is just focused primarily on technologically enabled skills. Because that transition is an important one for us to remain employed, to remain part of the economy and to remain part of our communities.

It turns out that the most important single factor in terms of being able to get that job, once you have the skills for it, is the people who are right around you: Your network, your connections, your guanxi.

In LinkedIn we have made it very easy to surround yourself with only people who share your own perspective. And that’s true in general about Facebook, about Twitter, about all the forms of media that we consume online. So, a big challenge for us going forward is how do we find that connection with each other again to allow having the kind of diverse and productive conversation in an environment where it is very easy to only be surrounded by people who agree with you.

My Takeaway for mums and dads:

Unless you go back living in the nature like our ancestors, being tech-savvy is not anymore nice-to-have; it is a MUST-have! Other knowledge is great too but you have to mix at least basic technology knowledge with them.

Our human brain doesn’t like divergence at all. It sometimes spikes our cortisol (stress hormone) level. That’s why we prefer to spend time with people who think, talk and even dress like us. But we need to be confronted to other ways of thinking. That’s where great progress is often made. To be challenged is often a great way to grow as a human being.

 

Tracy Fullerton

Game Designer and Professor, University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts

Games have helped humans define rules since the beginning of the humanity. It has huge implications in the building of society, of government, and in many ways of interacting with each other.

Now, with technology that allows us to play with one another through the Internet, through digital media, we can say that it’s not you and I that are deciding to flip the coin. Now the computer is going to decide what gets flipped and what gets decided. And we are going to submit ourselves to that computer.

And, I guess for me, the question of the day is: How does that change us as humans when some of the most deeply practiced human activity such as play become adjudicated by AI or by digital media and technologies and social networks? How do we move forward when we are no longer the ones making those rules or adjudicating those rules?

I don’t feel that I design technology; I feel that I design opportunities for humans to grow.

My takeaway for mums and dads:

Using more and more technology, day after day, is nice. It often simplifies our life and makes it possible to do more in less time or to have fun in a new way. But we need to keep in mind that question:

”Is what I am currently doing with tech stuff empowering me or disempowering me? Am I giving away one more piece of what is making me a human?”

 

To close this unusual post, I would like to tell you, mums and dads, that you have a new responsibility now. And it will take more and more time of your life and the life of your loved ones:

To help your kids and you, enjoy technology in a fulfilling and happy way, but stay in control of their lives and don’t let the technology control what they think and do.

Never forget that, at least until now, young people using social networks are much more depressed than the ones who don’t. That’s our duty, parents, to make sure it will not happen with our progeny.

Artificial Intelligence + 3D Printer = ??? ROUND 2!

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Hi Dear Parents!

Today, I have an amazing photo to share with you.

Do you remember what I wrote about five months ago? The title was:

“Artificial Intelligence + 3D Printer = ??? What could be the offspring of a 3D printer and an Artificial Intelligence entity?

I invite you to read it again before you read what you will find here below.

As you can see from the photo above, the first step is already in progress.

Three smart guys in a startup named Tend.ai created an AI system that they summarize with this simple but powerful sentence:

”Artificial intelligence that interacts with machines like a human”.

Wow! What a statement! The autonomy of the robot is not yet something to be afraid of but he is controlling ten different 3D printers at the same time. Impressive, don’t you think?

These 3D printers are pretty simple and don’t use very strong materials yet. But you can already replace them with some more advanced 3D printers capable to print with stronger and more sophisticated materials like carbon fiber or titanium.

To complete this 3D printers upgrade, what if you could plug this robotic arm into a more advanced computer with even better AI software? Do you see the possible trend? Surely I do.

I am not talking about you, my dear readers, but if other parents have not yet understood that their children will live in a really fast changing and different world, please, share your knowledge with them. You will do good for their kids. Life-long-learning is not anymore an option. It is mandatory for everybody who wants to stay on the boat. Among others, Employability Skills (read again my article HERE) will do the rest to help our children stay ahead of the herd.

The future will be amazing and very interesting for those who will be ready (mentally and physically). I am working really hard to prepare my son and I love to do it (currently learning about the myelination process and improvement in the brain). I am sure you (will) do it too.

Enjoy your day, enjoy your Family!

How 3D Printing Teams Up with STEAM

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Hi Parents! Have you had a good time with your loved ones? I hope so. If not, it happens from time to time, please remember to criticize your child’s behavior and not him. It will make a huge difference on his self-esteem level when he will grow up.

Do you know the STEM acronym?

If not, here it is in full: Science Technology Engineering Mathematics. Many countries are aiming to increase these kinds of teaching to prepare students for the world we will live in very, very soon (actually, we are already one foot in it). Billions are poured in programs to make the future workforce more up to date in these fields.

I think it is a good thing. But, in my opinion, we need to add one more field to foster a better future: Art. It is not only my opinion. Many people and organizations around the world think that it is a key element to boost STEM through the roof. Many of them use the acronym STEAM instead of STEM.

What form of art and why?

Well, I think that any form of art could provide some positive benefit to STEM. Many great inventors and leaders in the past and even today were passionate with one or several forms of art. Music and painting, just to name a few, were crucial in the work and creative process of geniuses. Einstein and his violin is one of the most famous examples.

When leaders in technology and education work together

The famous Makerbot company, bought by another famous 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys (here is a really good and detailed article about this acquisition by a 3D printing world reference: Joris Peels), has set up an initiative in India to promote exactly what we are talking about: STEAM.

veltech-university

The General Manager for Makerbot Stratasys India, Mr Rajiv Bajaj, teamed up with Veltech University officials to deliver for free 3D printing three-day training sessions. Up to 800 middle and high-school teachers in India are attending these seminars over a period of four weeks (it started two weeks ago). They are learning how to integrate into their existing curriculum all the activities related to 3D printing, like design, creativity, critical thinking and problem solving. They will be taught how to use 3D modeling software and all the steps to do rapid prototyping, using a 3D printer with their students.

All these activities are STEAM related and focus towards one goal: preparing students to thrive in the jobs of tomorrow.

makerbot-and-veltech

So, while you will be focused around science, technology, engineering and mathematics, don’t forget to do many artistic activities with your children. It will be good for the mood, for the brain and will give them a competitive edge on the right track for a fulfilling life.

 

PARENTS, SIMPLE AND EFFECTIVE EXPERIENCES TO DO GOOD FOR YOUR CHILDREN’S FUTURE

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Hi parents! Do you remember the problems I have listed in my last post? I wanted to give you detailed answers to all of them one by one but I realized it would be far too long for one weekly blog post. It would require many pages to do it as good as you deserve. So I decided to make it short. If you really want to get my extensive answers to all the problems, feel free to write your comments below this post, send me an email or post your request on our social media pages. I will answer all of your questions and maybe I will create a free report for you. Thanks!

Globalization requires technical proficiency + employability skills

As a result of globalization, every country will require that both sides of the competitiveness equation be fulfilled. The 4th industrial revolution, that is giving back some power to local actors on their local market, will emphasize this requirement. Employees will need to be, at the same time, technically proficient and experts in their employability skills.

globalization

Technical proficiency is quite common nowadays (the education system is quite good at it). CEOs and HR managers agree with that. They have no problem finding applicants with technical proficiency. They have much more problem finding employability skills in the people they need to hire.

What does it mean? The education system doesn’t teach you critical thinking skills but more something like “the ONLY ANSWER is …”. Even if they don’t always say exactly that, the idea is the same. You don’t consider all the possible answers. Instead, you have to stick to the conventional solutions. So, instead of “Think outside the box” you have ”Think inside the box.”

Here are some of the most important skills CEOs are looking for (at all skills levels):

Critical thinkingchief_exec_desk

Problem solving

Time management

Self-motivation

Decision-making

Good communication and collaboration

Creativity

How to teach your children to “think outside the box”

Here are a few ideas:

Instead of teaching dogmas, ask more questions, explore other pathways to get the problem solved.

shutterstock_120611212Make a habit to do things with your children outside of their (and your) comfort zone. Do things in new way to see it and live it differently.

If your child is right-handed, encourage him to use is left hand instead. Do it with him. It is a really interesting experience.

Another great one: let your child, under your supervision for the safety (but not for the creation!), create a cake or a meal by himself. Go with him to the marketplace, give him his own budget, and let him buy the vegetables, ingredients, etc. so that he can make his own creation. After the tasting, review with him every step from the idea to the finish product. Ask questions; make him question himself about what he has done and what he could have done differently. You will be amazed by your child’s creativity and his ability to challenge himself.

Give them opportunities to do stimulating and thought-provoking activities.

Tell them to ask questions as much as they think they need to be clear about something they are seeing or thinking about.

I know, sometimes we would prefer quiet kids, who don’t ask too many questions or don’t ask any questions at all. But never forget that the few years at the start will foster the right mindset they will need to thrive when they will have grown up. And you will be proud to have done so well with your descendants.

Working in the field of 3D printing example

Imagine you are working in the field of 3D printing. In fact, I think that any field could do, but let’s stick with our beloved 3D printing field.

carbon3d_in_actionYou work in a company that has just invented a new way to print much faster and with almost no after-print processing and cleaning and your company name is Carbon3D. You think that you have a big advantage over the competitors. You even do an amazing TED talk that will have been viewed more than 2 millions times. All the people in your company have invested a lot of time and energy to get that breakthrough. Lots of money has been invested too. How long do you think your competitive advantage will last?

The answer speaks volumes about the speed of evolution in the 21st century: less than one year.

newpro3d_in_actionA competitor company, NewPro3D has invented a process to print faster than Carbon3D, with any type of resin (Carbon3D uses proprietary ones), and instead of being limited to the print bed, NewPro3D’s technology can print objects as much as 7.5 meters long.

I have another question for you:

Do you think that technical proficiency has been enough to make these two companies so innovative? Do you think that their managers will ask their team members to think inside the box, to use conformist thinking in order to go ahead faster and create new machines, materials or processes?

Of course not. Workers in these companies will use each and every skill I mentioned above in order to stay competitive. Everybody will have to collaborate if they want to stay on course and grow. Engineers will have to create something that probably doesn’t exist yet. Even the marketing service will have to be really creative and good in communication and collaboration both internally and externally (with other teams, prospects, journalists or customers).

I will finish with a few words from Richard Riley, former U.S. Secretary of Education. He summarized quite well the challenges and at the same time opportunities that lies ahead for us and, even more, for our children:

“The jobs in the greatest demand in the future don’t yet exist and will require workers to use technologies that have not yet been invented to solve problems that we don’t yet even know are problems.”

In my next blog post, I will tell you a few words about the STEAM you could put in your children engines.

 Have a great day!