My 11 year old sister recently participated in a public speaking contest, where she and few other kids impressed all the adults with their incredibly creative and “impractical” ideas. These kids were completely unbound in their thoughts and ideas; I was very amused and intrigued.
It is well known that kids are not restricted in their thinking and they are not influenced by practicality while generating their ideas. BUT isn’t that what we, innovators, want? We want to make the impossible come true. We want to create the crazy! We want to create that COOL rocket ship, flying school bus, or a slip and slide that can take you from home to school.
A way to expand the concept of OpenIDEO would be to introduce this in elementary schools. Bring in elementary school teachers, teach them the concept of design thinking (or send out some design thinking coaches out to elementary schools), and have a design thinking week back at their school. Give the kids a problem or have them come up with their own problem and provide markers, crayons, and color pencils to let the ideas flow! These ideas could be brought back to the designers who can then implement them in possible areas.
This concept could help our society in two ways: generate creative solutions and preserve creativity in the children. Not only will we have crazy and cool ideas, but by preserving creativity among these children we can foster a more innovative generation.