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An Innovation Academy for Kid Entrepreneurs

India is awash in kid entrepreneurs. Help them succeed better using the IDEO HCD toolkit or the Stanford Design Thinking Workshop as a foundational curriculum. Connect them to each other with the internet and used smart-phones. Let them teach other kids by organizing their own TEDx conference.

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India is awash in kid entrepreneurs. Let's help them succeed better using the IDEO HCD toolkit as a foundational curriculum:

Another great design thinking resource for kids is the K-12 Lab at Stanford:

The IDEO HCD toolkit or the Design Thinking Workshop could be the core curriculum of local "innovation academies" for kid entrepreneurs. By following the HCD process, who knows what solutions to pressing problems the kids might come up with!

They could be connected to each other with hole-in-the-wall internet and used smart-phones. They could teach other kids by organizing their own local TEDx conferences.

Who would implement this?

  • A big company
  • A local entrepreneur or small organization
  • A globally-based social entrepreneur
  • NGOs and Foundations
  • I would!


IDEO has already produced and generously released the HCD Toolkit to foster emergent, grassroots innovation. The K-12 Lab at Stanford also has excellent materials for teaching design thinking to kids. The kids would be co-partners in running workshops at the innovation academy.

Distribution & Delivery

Ask school kids to volunteer for design thinking workshops at the innovation academy. Let them go out and find kid entrepreneurs in the field to partner with for effective, real-world innovation to emerge.


Word of mouth recruitment, localized comic book describing the design thinking process and its benefits

Local Need. Enterprising Schools has identified key areas of need for Affordable Private Schools. What local learning need(s) does this concept address?

  • English language learning (speaking, reading, writing)
  • Math learning
  • Libraries
  • Tech literacy
  • Professional development


Join the conversation:

Photo of Avi

Thanks Leticia - People like Javier are exactly what I'm talking about!

Photo of Leticia

Check out the work of Javier Fernández-Han, a 16-year old, who founded the nonprofit Inventors Without Borders and recently started the project "Innovation Foundry - MIE", a virtual collaboration of youth from the USA and India to work on the reconstruction of a one-room school for extremely impoverished children in Mumbai, India, run by My India Empowered. The school is built of sticks and cow-manure and serves a population of children that has been neglected by the local government because of their ambiguous legal status (they are aborigine people of India who are now ironically and tragically considered "squatting" on their ancestral home land). The school was recently severely damaged by intense monsoons in Mumbai.

Also, as part of the mission of Inventors Without Borders, Javier is creating a toolkit to teach social entrepreneurship to young people.

Javier's drive to use his ingenuity to empower other kids to solve complex problems is inspiring. Here are some links:

Photo of Avi

Thanks Daniel!

Photo of Avi

Thanks Daniel!

Photo of Daniel

Very nice. Inspiring!

Photo of Meena

Avi – great idea! And perhaps there could be updated issues which feature innovations from children who have been part of the program.

Photo of Avi

Hi Meena. How about developing and making a comic book version of the IDEO HCD toolkit available in the local language. Your 'Grassroots Comics' inspiration fits in nicely here!

Photo of Meena

Hi Avi. Do you imagine the audience for the toolkit to be children? Would it need to be revised and re-designed with that in mind?

Photo of Vincent

Interesting melding of inspirations to connect schoolkids and kid entrepreneurs to solve pressing problems. There's probably a lot they can learn from one another.