Thursday, July 23, 2015

Why We Need To Cultivate Innovating Minds

by Marcus Conyers

Part One in a Six-Part Series
“Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you, and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.”—Steve Jobs; inventor; 1955–2011
“We are convinced the world will increasingly be divided between high imagination-enabled countries, which encourage and enable the imagination and extras of their people, and low imagination-enabling countries, which suppress or simply fail to develop their people’s creative capacities and abilities to spark new ideas, start up new industries and their own ‘extra.’
—Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum; That Used to Be Us (2011)
The present and future envisioned in these two quotes sound both a challenge and an opportunity. The words of Steve Jobs in particular capture the essence of the skills we will need for the future in a world where automation and outsourcing of routine work are transforming the landscape and career prospects.

To thrive in the global innovation economy, we need to become creative thinkers and entrepreneurial doers who can collaborate, create, and implement new ideas that add relevant added value. We need to become skilled in identifying problems and opportunities, dreaming up and dialoguing possible solutions, elaborating and enhancing the best ideas, and applying and refining them in response to feedback. All of these skills can be taught and learned.

We have great untapped potential to become more creative and to make the most of our creative, analytic, and practical abilities. Through this blog, articles, books graduate studies, we hope to contribute ideas for developing Innovating Minds. 

Note: This post draws from research that Marcus did for an article, “Innovating Minds—What Students Need for the Future,” for Information Age Education (IAE).


Friedman, T.L., & Mandelbaum, M. (2011). That used to be us. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.

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