Innovation for Education or Education on Innovation?

Kyuin Shim

In a world in constant change, to be creative and innovative seems to be the only effective way out for a safer future. Indeed, uncertainty due to a multiplicity of global crises pushes for new and revolutionary methods that could contribute to focus on a new path marked by sustainable development.
It is in that sense that not only advanced technology will bring the necessary contributions for a world hit by crisis but also a population prepared to change the system and redirected into a “resilient focus”. It is here that Education plays that revolutionary role. Building communities of creative leaders on an equal basis.
Innovation should go beyond economic growth allowing low income countries to have revolutionary standards of Education and to be resilient despite their economic levels of development. Current levels of inequality show that economic growth is not really the challenge but a fair wealth distribution and a holistic approach to achieve sustainable development. That is so that Education plays a fundamental role to create enough defences against uncertainties. A pillar through which the rest of the holistic approach could be addressed from a stronger position.
One of the more challenging aspects that contribute to Innovation has been the educational system which helps, or not, to build professionals prepared enough, but also to build an enabling environment for strategies around Innovation + Development.

The financial global crisis has badly hit countries, creating a negative impact like in Spain, where Innovation is not an priority and industries -e.g. wind energy- not supported by the government, make them lose their original preeminence. Not even at educational levels we find this essential boost that definitely could bring the necessary changes.
The question is: are we educating to boost professionals able to innovate? or are we giving traditional education systems with additional updates on technology? this is a big difference and current systems do not seems to see it, leaving innovation only for creative people that develop a particular skill over a particular project or idea. Innovation is normally seen as a possible consequence of Education, but it should be the educational system what prepares professionals to work and live in a world of uncertainty that demands a permanent state of Innovation.
The current challenging technological global world requires better education to be innovative. I mean, to be creative is not just a personal asset but a skill that needs to be developed and built by a solid educational system, playing a key role on building the new characters of this stage of revolutionary modernity that the 4th Industrial revolution is giving us.

Creativity is a strong driver of change and in  uncertain times it becomes paramount for searching for new economic models based on behaviour and motivation that paves the way for an effective strategy on innovation and adaptation.
Education and Innovation feed each other, we need to educate on how innovate and we need also to Innovate on how we educate. Creating professionals able to adapt to any kind of work to face strongly the new challenges.
To be prepared for a new dimension, we need to build globally but from an individual basis in which Education plays the fundamental role that will bring the necessary platform to boost the workforce that goes beyond current parameters.
It is not just about innovative educational systems but to reshape the system according to the new challenges. It is also a matter of transforming patterns of learning by maximising creativity and preparing to innovate in all disciplines. The holistic approach that we are referring needs innovation at all levels and not just reserved for “skilful and creative minds”

The role of Education in this process becomes one key element to refocus economic-political policies towards a goal of resilience. Preparing individuals to be innovators in all layers of the society to face uncertainties and build resilient societies. The more educated we are, the more prepared we´ll be to search for innovative solutions that face adaptation challenges with strength and determination.

*Sculpture: Kyuin Shum

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