Are children really more creative than their parents? Sure! But now what?

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If you search the first question on-line, you will see hundreds of sites concluding with a resounding, “Yes!” There will also be countless sites telling you how to encourage creativity in your children. (Here, one answer seems to be less schooling!) My questions then become: Why aren’t we taking more advantage of this creativity? Why aren’t there more child inventors? If a key characteristic in certain creative industries, like product design and IT, is to maintain a child-like imagination, then why can’t we just ask actual children?

Chester Greenwood (Age 15) – Earmuffs

Before you hit back with child labor laws, etc., here’s a story showing “10 Great Inventions Dreamt Up by Children.” Here’s another story with the title, “Crazy Kids’ Inventions Turned Into Real Products” with the video version here.

Cassidy Goldstein (Age 12) – Crayon Holders

WHY children are more creative

Out of all the research explaining WHY children are more creative than adults, the one I found the most compelling was by Alison Gopnik, psychology professor at Berkeley in this TED talk. She refers to the work of evolutionary biologists. Humans have an exceptionally long childhood to resolve the “intrinsic tension” between the need to finding the simplest, quickest solutions (adults) versus the need to explore to find alternative solutions (kids). (Any parent trying to get socks on their children will know what Gopnik means.) In short, evolution has designed humans to give them a chance to explore as children before maturing into efficient, problem solving machines as adults.

The next step

But getting back to my earlier questions, why aren’t we working more with children in the creative industries? (Wikipedia notes these nine but there are more.) In my view, one answer is likely the cost of innovation. R&D budgets can be a real drag on profitability for companies. They fund research staff as well the proto-typing. But I think you know what I will say next: 3D printing technology is lowering proto-typing costs. Now, anyone, including children, can also explore new design ideas.

Parents! It’s time to bond with our kids to see where their creativity can take us in the creative industries! Your child might be on a list of inventors in the near future.

More to come in upcoming blogs.

 

 

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!

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.

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!