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3 defining characteristics of youth-led social innovation

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/08/three-characteristics-youth-led-social-innovation/

weforum.org

3 defining characteristics of youth-led social innovation
Many areas of youth-led social innovation are under-exploited. Youth-led innovations can go a long way to reversing worrying youth unemployment statistics.

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Context trumps technology

Context trumps technology
  • When it comes to youth-led social innovation, how much a project is tech dependent is usually related to where the innovator comes from (many communities around the world have little or no access to tech in general).
  • This has a direct impact of the type of innovative solutions a young person will be able to create. This also influences their chances to appear "exciting" in the eyes of possible investors.
  • Low-tech projects can undoubtedly still be mind blowing.

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Youth and the access quality education

  • The most critical topic for young innovators are quality education (42%) and decent work and economic growth (38%).
  • The cause of these concerns: 20-year-olds are transitioning from school to work, and are facing challenges and inequalities in these areas.

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Inspired by local problems

Regional issues act as important motivations for young innovators when they decide to work on a specific project. These issues are usually as urgent as global ones, but get less funding in general.

They can lead young innovators to come up with highly localised, impactful solutions.

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Why progress studies are important

Why progress studies are important
  • We still need a lot of progress for major challenges. We haven't yet cured all diseases; we don't yet know how to solve climate change; we don't yet understa...

Benefiting from an organized effort

The world would benefit from an organized effort from various disciplines to understand:

  • How we should identify and train brilliant young people.
  • How the most effective small groups exchange and share ideas.
  • Which incentives should exist for participants in innovative ecosystems (scientists, entrepreneurs, managers, and engineers)
  • How much organizations differ in productivity. One recent study found that teaching better management practices to firms in Italy improved productivity by 49 percent over 15 years compared with peer firms that didn’t receive the training.
  • How scientists should be selected and funded. A recent paper concluded that long-term grants to high-potential scientists made those scientists 96 percent more likely to produce breakthrough work.

Progress Studies antecedents

  • The Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University tried to encourage optimistic thinking about the future through fiction and narrative.
  • An applied history movement is needed to help draw lessons from history and apply them to real-world problems.
  • In a world with Progress Studies, a new focus on progress belongs to a school of thought that would encourage a decentralized shift in priorities among academics, philanthropists, and funding agencies. This has already happened in climate-science research and the designation of Keynesian economics, which helped economists focus on fiscal policy as a tool for recession fighting.

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Innovators don't take more risk

Innovators don't take more risk

Research has shown that innovators and entrepreneurs don't take more risk than the average person. However, they are more comfortable making decisions in uncertainty.

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Risk and uncertainty

  • Risk is when the factors that determine success or failure are out of your control, but the odds of success are known.
  • Uncertainty is when the factors that determine success or failure are not out of your control but are simply unknown. It is playing a game that you do not entirely know the rules of.

Risk analysis is a rational and calculation-driven process, while uncertainty triggers the fight-or-flight response. Innovators don't ignore risk. They are able to maintain their analytical capabilities in the face of uncertainty.

The two categories of innovation

  • Delivery skills. Skills include quantitative analysis, planning, detail-oriented implementation, disciplined execution.
  • Discovery skills. Theses skills are more involved in developing ideas and managing uncertain situations. It includes the ability to draw connections between ideas, questioning assumptions and the status quo, understanding a problem before trying to solve it, systematic experimentation, the ability to network and broaden a set of relationships. For innovation, discovery must come before delivery.

These skills can be learned through a combination of guidance, practice, and experience.

Allowing Ideas To Safely Flourish

Take a moment to consider if your employees and team members are coming to you with new ideas and innovations.

To create a sense of security where employees will feel safe to share their i...

Increased Diversity

Companies with increased growth are 72% more likely to have high diversity in their organization.

Use Learning & Development (L&D) training to raise awareness about the current state of diversity and inclusion in your work environment.

Agility Breeds Sustainability

Up to 70% of trainees forget what they learn within 24 hours after training. However, it does not have to be the case for your employees.

An effective leader will implement and integrate an agile training infrastructure into their daily operations that can change quickly to keep up with the pace of innovation.