Home > Creativity and Innovation, Opportunity > Creating Innovators, Epilogue – Letter to a Young Innovator

Creating Innovators, Epilogue – Letter to a Young Innovator

Tony Wagner ends his book with a letter to a young innovator. I liked this, but I also just want to know more. I want to discuss more. I am sad the book has ended. He wraps it up with a great discussion on how our economy works. When I taught High School students we participated in the Flat Classroom Project, where students must analyze what the 11 Flatteners are in Thomas Friedman’s book The “World is Flat”. When Tony Wagner discuss our economy he talks about manufacturing will never be brought back to the states, we need new ideas, products and service that will generate jobs, wealth, etc. My students always thought outsourcing was destroying our nation, but it is only make our nation be smarter and smarter to develop new ideas.

Wagner continues that innovation brings you “a sense of separateness and loneliness is inevitable. . . But… you will find others who share that passion or perspective and who respect you precisely because you have the courage not to give in to conventions.” Over and over again in the book, we find the innovators not letting school get in the way of their innovation. His advice is to do the schooling but do the extra stuff too that you are passionate about. Seek out the others like you. “If you don’t fail, then you are probably playing it too safe.” We all learn from our own mistakes. “Be both a believer in and a skeptic of your own ideas.” I love this quote, be confident but be humble. “Knowing when to listen and when to block out others’ voices, as well as whom to listen to and whom not to, what company to work for and which ones to avoid.”

How will we inspire our students the way Tony Wagner has inspired us? I will try to make students confident of their choices. I will make them have opportunity for growth and creativity. I will create a safe place for them to be risk takers.

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