21st Century, Creativity, Design, Innovation

Innovation 101: How to Create an Innovative Student


Are people born innovators, or can they learn to become that way? An interesting new book, “Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World,” by Tony Wagner, a member of Harvard’s Technology and Entrepreneurship Center, explores this question in detail.  The book will be released on April 17th – I can’t wait!  In the book, Wagner does some pretty cool things.

He uses over 60 QR codes within the book to link to video footage of many of the interviews he undertook for the research into this book.

He outlines what he sees as the four main characteristics of an innovator – which, not surprisingly, are very similar to the 4 C’s of 21st century education:

  • Curiosity, the habit of asking good questions and a desire to understand things more deeply
  • Collaboration, which begins with listening to and learning from others who have distinct perspectives and expertise
  • Associative or integrative thinking
  • A bias toward action and experimentation


He talks to loads of really interesting people who share really interesting ideas with him from their perspective, on innovation:


How important is innovation?  How important is oxygen to life?  Dean Kamen, Segway Inventor


Raising someone with the intention that they’ll be an innovator is actually different to raising a child that you want to behave all the time and be quite compliant.  Annemarie Neal, CISCO Vice President


Knowledge is a commodity.  You can get this on Google.  It’s about asking the right questions.  It’s about having the right insights and perceptions.  Richard Miller, Olin College


Let them fail. Because they are going to learn more from that than we could ever teach them directly. Unknown



Here is the book trailer that I can almost guarantee will leave you wanting more.  The reviews thus far indicate that this is ‘must have’ for those looking to move themselves or their students or children forward as innovators in the 21st Century – and beyond!

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