This is the question that peeps from No Right Brain Left Behind asked to advertising agencies, non-profits or communication schools.
The concept was easy: you have five days to think about this question and come up with your answers. They can be shaped as tools, applications, products, presentations or whatever you want.
Many teams all around the world were brainstorming on this project, from small but creative agencies to advertising dinosaurs like BBDO, BBH, W+K, Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi and many more (click on teams). I had the chance to give my two cents as a member of the Bucket Brigade.
As I had very little time to think about them and the creative process being so random, I came up with suggestions that I am not entirely satisfied with. Though, the principle of the Bucket Brigade is to collaborate, share the ideas, melt them and finally reach an interesting result.
Here are the few ideas I had on the go:
- Problem-solving time: a period where students from different classes and specializations meet together in order to solve real life problems. They can use all their skills to be complementary. The youngest can learn from the oldest, and the oldest can see the world with a more ingenuous vision.
- Create double subjects courses: mathematics applied to astronomy or politics explained by maps (like the surely most interesting TV show, “Le dessous des cartes”).
- TED Children: inspiring events (like TED) but made by children and for children.
- Smaller groups: less pressure, more individuality.
- For small children, concentrate one whole year on one particular subject, for instance the sun. Sun can be related to many different subjects, from seasons (summer) to colours (yellow), to geometry (circle), to life and animals, etc.. It can help children use metaphors, and associate things apparently not linked. This idea is actually implemented by the French Ateliers de la Petite Enfance, using the theme of the hedgehog.
- Bring back the uniform: so that social differences are less visible and people from “lower classes” can feel more confident towards their peers. Moreover, children will have to be creative to differentiate themselves, from accessories or hairstyle to behaviour!
- Some children spend a lot of time in school buses every day, so why not transform them into “curiosity labs”? Printing useful, funny or unusual facts on the seats can make children more curious and eager to discover new things.
I was happily surprised to see that some of those ideas were quite similar to the ones submitted by some other teams, but a bit sad not to have had more time to think about it.
Indeed, I would have liked to take a more scientific approach to try to get the best out of our kinship. The five skills you find in creative people are, according to this article, the following:
- Association: ability for people to link things that are apparently unrelated.
- Questioning: challenging statu quo, kill stereotypes.
- Observation: like Sherlock…pay attention to details.
- Experimentation: openness to new universes.
- Networking with smart people from whom they can learn.
There could be many ways to try to leverage each of those skills from the earliest childhood. If you have time to think about it I would be happy to hear from you.
All in all, this project should to my mind be seen as a sort of crowd-sourcing for the general good more than a mere competition. The result does not matter that much as long as society is improved.
My friend Adarsh recently posted a classification of teachers. This matrix underlines the fact that in order to be thirsty for knowledge and hence creative, you better have the right teachers, the ones that make you love school. Click on the image below for more information.