I am currently reading The Innovator’s Mindset, by George Couros, in preparation for an upcoming PTC course. In the meantime, in case you didn’t hear about it, Team New Zealand won the America’s Cup in sailing this week! The NZ news website, Stuff, published an interesting article about the conditions that facilitated the innovation needed for the NZ boat to be so competitive.
One university lecturer stated that the shortage of funding produced constraints that could have given TNZ a competitive advantage for innovation, while another attempted to refute his comments citing the poorest countries and their lack of innovation.
Surely there is an optimal level of limitations though, that can be a condition for innovation to flourish. The critical difference between TNZ’s situation and the world’s poorest countries is education. Innovation and creativity are based on sound foundational knowledge, together with the freedom to try, fail, iterate. Some of our students’ best demonstrations of learning come from creation of new ideas based on the newly acquired knowledge, often under constraints. One such example is our school’s recent IB DP Group 4 project this year, where all students needed to create a product from upcycled, not newly purchased, materials.
What do you think, does a lack of funds help or hinder innovation?