Sunday, 30 June 2013

Innovative minds

How does society best make use of innovative minds? Is the current structure optimal? If not, what are its weaknesses?

These are difficult questions, but perhaps an easier place to start is: what do innovative minds needs? The answer to this question is almost certainly:

  • education - filling the minds with information from which to make connections between; and
  • feedback - the innovative mind will make connections, and generate an output. Such minds require feedback on that output in order to further develop it, refine it, or (if it's not a goodun) to discard it and move on to the next
So, does the current structure of society provide sufficient education and feedback?

  • education - I think we're OK at getting education done up until graduate stage (although it's not without problems around equality of access, attendence, syllabus, etc). But lifelong learning is pretty lacking and unstructured, yet essential (I'm sure its not just young minds that have ideas)
  • feedback - I think we're light years off where we need to be with feedback. We need a system of mentors such that everyone has a mentor. These mentors would be the first port of call for feedback, and their primary responsibility would be encouragement and facilitation of development of ideas, together with the referral to other experts as required. Even where innovative ideas are not developed into something practical, they should be recorded and published, as they might spark innovation in others.

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