Young people can best develop the skills for innovation by receiving positive feedback and recognition for early successes and having opportunities to experience successful innovation for themselves. These experiences increase young people’s confidence in their ability to identify problems and find solutions; life skills that are increasingly demanded by employers. Young people’s innovation is usually associated with teenagers, but studies of younger children demonstrate the benefits of teaching design, problem solving or critical skills for developing the capability to innovate. Social inequalities and living in rural communities can also create barriers, restricting young people from accessing the information and social networks that can help them develop their ideas. To use online networks and to gain access to the knowledge, resources and networks they need for innovation, young people need digital access. The ‘disenfranchisement’ of those whose families cannot afford broadband and computers can be a profound barrier for young people who have ideas. There are also more subtle barriers. Adults need to facilitate rather than teach innovation. Young people need the freedom to develop new ideas and concepts themselves.
Research Professor on society, culture, art, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, neuroscience, autopoiesis, self-organization, complexity, systems, networks, rhizomes, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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