32 Tips To Inspire Innovation For You And Your Library
FIRST inspires young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.
32 tips to inspire innovation for you and your library
And just to close on a personal note, Mr. President, I am one of millions of people who have been inspired by your passion and your commitment. You have helped so many Americans discover that they too have something to contribute, that they too have the power to make a difference.
President Obama. Well, thank you very much, Michelle, for your outstanding work. To all the Points of Light Award recipients, we're proud of you, congratulations, and keep up the great work. You inspire us and make us want to do that much more. Especially when you see young people who are already making such a difference and such an impact, it gives you enormous confidence that America, for all its challenges, will always meet them because we've got this incredible character.
Many donors have already invested in the future of business education on the Hilltop. Their contributions to the Cox School of Business renovation and expansion project will ignite excellence in our students and inspire innovation on the Hilltop for generations to come.
Intro: 0:00Inventors and their inventions. Welcome to Radio Cade, a podcast from the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention in Gainesville, Florida. The museum is named after James Robert Cade who invented Gatorade in 1965. My name is Richard Miles. We'll introduce you to inventors and the things that motivate them. We'll learn about their personal stories, how their inventions work, and how their ideas get from the laboratory to the marketplace. Richard Miles: 0:00Imagination. What does it really mean? Can it be measured? And what does it have to do with creativity and invention? I'm your host, Richard Miles, and my guest today via the miracle of Zoom is Dan Hunter, the inventor of the Hunter Imagination Questionnaire known as H-IQ, the first assessment of individual imagination and ideation. He's also accomplished playwright, songwriter, and teacher. Welcome to the show, Dan. Dan Hunter: 0:00Thank you, RichardRichard Miles: 1:04So, Dan. This show is produced in Florida. I live in DC, You live in Massachusetts and we're conducting the interview via a technology created in San Jose, California. Imagine that. Dan Hunter: 1:04Yes, exactly.Richard Miles: 1:17So I neglected to mention in introducing you that you are probably the world's foremost authority on what makes Iowa funny.Dan Hunter: 1:25I'll claim that honor. Yeah, I am a native of Iowa and lived there until about 20 years ago. Richard Miles: 1:32And you've written a couple of books on it as well. Sort of specifically humor and Iowa, right?Dan Hunter: 1:36Yeah, Three books. "Let's Keep Des Moines a Private Joke," "The Search for Iowa" and "We Don't Grow Potatoes," and, the last one is, "Iowa. It's a State of Mind."Richard Miles: 1:47Is this taken well by native Iowans that they like the ribbing? Or do you get some push back?Dan Hunter: 1:52No. I made my living for about 17 years, performing throughout the Midwest and primarily Iowa. I think Midwesterners, they appreciate humor about themselves, and they recognize that they have a calm humility about them, for the most part. Occasionally you get a crackpot, I mean one person once sent me back one of my books stapled 100 times.Richard Miles: 2:14Like I said, that's an interesting side hustle. But I guess it wasn't a side hustle a while.Dan Hunter: 2:20No, it was my main work at the time.Richard Miles: 2:22So, this is not a show dedicated to Iowa humor, as much as we, we could talk about that, but to showcase the stories of inventors and entrepreneurs, and at the root of most of those narratives are seeds of imagination and creativity. But the problem is imagination, sort of one of those amorphous words that a lot of people use and a lot of them use it differently, I thought. Let's start by defining imagination itself, How would you give a fairly precise definition of imagination? And then we'll go on after that to talk about the questionnaire you develop.Dan Hunter: 2:54I think it's very important to distinguish between imagination, creativity, and innovation. Imagination is what happens inside a person's mind and imagination is something that we all have. It's part of being Homosapiens. It's part of our evolution, and people use their imagination every day, often unaware that they are using their imagination. So the concise definition of imagination is, it is the ability to predict outcomes, visualized scenarios, and to engage in counterfactual thinking. So those three aspects are part of our daily life. I mean, you might be thinking, What am I gonna have for lunch? Should I go to downtown tomorrow? Where should we go on vacation? All of those involved predicting an outcome and visualizing this scenario, and it's universal. Everybody does it now, you might ask yourself then, Well, what's the difference between, say, me and Albert Einstein? Now, if you are trying to visualize where you left your car keys and you might visualize, Gee, do I see them in my mind on the kitchen counter? How do I see them by the back door? You're using the same channels of visualization that Albert Einstein used because there's no special channel for visualizing the universe. And the difference between most of us and Albert Einstein is that Albert Einstein practiced this his whole life, and he channeled his imagination to achieve his goals. He was able to visualize how light moved through the universe and how it might be bent by an orb or a solid body. He could actually visualize that in his mind, and that was the key to his success. So what about creativity? Creativity is defined as something that's original, novel, of value, either aesthetic or utilitarian. And so it is actually a designation, and not of what goes on inside your mind, where you generate ideas, your imagination. It's a designation that applies to your idea. Bringing your idea forward. Creativity is a designation given by others. It could be in your domain, it could be in your family. But the designation of creativity is not from you, can I use a metaphor?Richard Miles: 5:04Sure, of course, I love metaphors.Dan Hunter: 5:06This is a baseball metaphor, but then again, we are in America. Richard Miles: 5:10This is as close, as we'll come baseball, probably in 2020. So go ahead.Dan Hunter: 5:14So imagination, creativity, and innovation. Imagination is when the batter is on deck in that little batter circle and warming up. Now, he or she could be thinking about anything, but we hope that she's planning on a strategy, an idea to implement at the plate. She might be thinking ill bunt it down the third baseline, or I'll try to hit it over the right field. Or maybe I'll try to hit a home run. However, this is internal thinking imagination. She could be thinking about anything. She could be thinking about chicken pot pie, Cadillac Eldorado. It's all internal at that point. Now, we hope that she is applying her imagination towards the goals of the game. Now, when she comes to bat, that is the chance to implement her idea. Now they're too arbitrary white lines in baseball that extend into infinity, in theory. Those are the foul lines, and if you hit the ball outside of the foul line, no matter how powerful you hit it, it doesn't count. Now it's the same way with creativity. Your idea has to fall within the expectations of your domain within the expectations of society, be within the rules of the game. And so creativity, then, is when your idea works, and it's recognized by people that it works and that it adds value within the game. Innovation is then when you have a tangible result the success like reaching first base air coming around the home plate. Now what I started to say is, the DaVinci is a very good example of this Leonardo DaVinci because we know from his notebooks that he had extraordinary ideas for somebody who lived in the late 15th early 16th century. Among them were human propelled helicopter, a set of flying wings. Now those ideas were only in his notebooks. They never were produced. The Duke of Milan could see no value in them, and so they were not useful. They weren't deemed creative. They weren't in the expectations of the Duke of Milan. Now skip to the second half of the 19th century, when a lot of his notebooks were found after being lost and during the end of the 19th century the question was not, can human beings fly? The question was when, because from about 1850 on, there was a great race to become the first self-propelled flying machine, and we know who finished first, which was the Wright Brothers. But so the time when they found these notebooks it was great excitement because the expectation was we will be able to fly and DaVinci's ideas are considered creative. And in retrospect, in the last 20 years of the 21st century, museums have built replicas, particularly of the helicopter, and it doesn't fly. But nonetheless, it's what's interesting about that. So all ideas begin in imagination, they can't begin anywhere else. And therefore, if you channel your imagination, if you use your imagination, you will have ideas that maybe recognizes creative or they may not depending on the audience and the time of society.Richard Miles: 8:19You talked about, Einstein talked about DaVinci so clearly there are people who develop this skill better than others. but It's not something that someone is totally lacking imagination. Just give an example from the other end of the spectrum. We have, ah, a brand new eight-month granddaughter, and what's fascinating is to see her develop. And you can kind of see her understanding the world increase, including imagination. One example, where in the last month to six weeks she now understands that if somebody disappears from the room, they don't disappear from the world. When she hears, noises or footsteps coming from outside the world, she looks expectantly so clearly she knows that somebody is gonna pop around the corner based on the steps. So that's the prototype of beginning to imagine yourself right in different spatial areas or different time periods and so on. So you and others have developed a questionnaire that can really get at the fine tuning assessment of somebody's. Is it their potential to imagine? Or is it just a snapshot of where they are on that spectrum of, say, being an eight-month-old baby who figures out that people exist outside of the room? And Einstein or DaVinci?Dan Hunter: 9:26First, let me address one of the differences between Einstein and DaVinci and most people. Everything that goes on in your brain is neural connections. Neural networks, where the synapses process an electrical charge inside the neuron converts it to a chemical at the synapse, and then it goes to the next one. What we know about the plasticity, the neural plasticity, the brain is that the brain strengthens how you use it. In other words, practice improves that network in your brain. There's a classic study of 24 jugglers, and 12 of them had to learn how to juggle, and the other 12 had the great challenge of not learning how to juggle, what happened? Well, there's actually an increase in the gray matter on the dorsal lateral side of those who learned how to juggle the brain structure itself changed by the learning. The non-jugglers had no change then. This is curious because, of course, the jugglers, the new jugglers, they did it for the month that they were required to do. And most of them stopped because they realized that being able to juggle was not going to increase their chance of passing on their DNA to anyone. So they stop juggling they came back six months later, and that growth in the brain in the gray matter had disappeared. The brain had rerouted that gray matter, those neurons for other tasks. So if you want imagination, you have to practice it, like Einstein did. Or like DaVinci, who walked the streets with his notebook constantly drawing constantly writing his ideas. Now HIQ, which I developed as a solo project. It does not compare your imagination to mine, and the reason for that is is that every imagination is distinct. Even identical twins who share the same genome will not have a similar imagination. It's that imagination is that conglomeration of what you've experienced, what you want to achieve, what you remember. So it's those three aspects and, you know, from literature and elsewhere that people remember events quite differently, so they have their own understanding of it that informs their own imagination. So the HIQ. The idea came to me when I was working to try to increase the importance of creative work in the schools, and my first thought was, well, we need to have some way of keeping score because Americans value what we can measure, particularly in the schools, and so those things that are immeasurable, such as creativity. They get overlooked or sidelined because they don't fit into the equation. They don't fit into the algorithm. So my thought was, if we could establish a measurement that would increase the importance of the creative work, I won't go into my original idea, which was almost implemented in Oklahoma. But it was similar to something the CDC does. A CDC examines at-risk populations like postnatal, neonatal elderly, youth at risk. They actually measure behaviors to determine potential outcomes. And that's what the original index was going to do. But as I thought about it, I realized couple of things one. The most important thing is how you use your imagination and getting students to channel their imagination towards their goals. And so the HIQ is based on four sessions, none longer than eight minutes. So it's easiest schedule inside of a classroom, and you can do it shorter doesn't have to go the full eight minutes and has very simple prompts. There's no secret sauce just like that, no secret sauce between Einstein visualizing and you. It is the same skills, so that prompts ask, you know what are you doing with your imagination? What do you want to do? What do you hope to achieve? And then at the end of the first session, if you're invited to write as many ideas as you can and it's not an English test, you don't need to be grammatically correct as long as you can remember your ideas from what you write at the end of the first session, the software seals your ideas up in a virtual envelope on stores it. Then you have an incubation period 3 to 7 days. Now, if you didn't like your ideas in the first session, doesn't matter because you're gonna have three more sessions and the human brain being what it is. You will either consciously or subconsciously ask yourself, Why didn't I have any ideas so it gets easier as you go along? Second session is visualization. The third session is on change and invention and discovering again every time your ideas air sealed and stored at the end of the fourth session, all your ideas come back to you. And you assess the idea is on a liquored scale, 1 to 10. That's what gives you the score. It's not a diagnostic test. It doesn't say you're creative and you're not because we all have imagination. What it actually measures is how engaged you are with your ideas Now that is valuable to the individual. It's also a former metacognition because you examine in that time period how you generate ideas where you get your ideas and you focus on the notion that, yeah, I can generate ideas. That's my responsibility. For the schools they get a score in the aggregate, what that allows them to do. And here's the measurement part that allows them to determine what changes occurring with these students in terms of their imagination. So you have on opening sessions, say, at the beginning of the year, and that's a benchmark. You can take it again at the end of the semester or at the end of year. One school wants to start with the incoming freshman, and so it's a very distinctive questionnaire and is very different from existing creativity tests. I'm sure you've seen some of those the nine-dot test and others, but the thing that puzzles me about the other creativity tests is that they are designed by an expert, administered on one day, and then evaluated by that same expert. So aren't we really measuring whether or not you fit the experts' idea of creativity? There's no chance for you to find your own imagination, which is what HIQ does for you.Richard Miles: 15:24So, Dan, I think I understand how the test works. But let me just see if I do understand. If I were to sit and take the test and in session one, what exactly is the questions? Like what I wanted to believe Is that kind ofDan Hunter: 15:35what do you hope to do, create, or achieve in the next few months?Richard Miles: 15:38So let's say I said, okay, I've got a great idea on a manned mission to Mars, right? Okay, and then in session two, I could say either that was a stupid idea. That's not going anywhere, or I come back and say, Well, I've done some thinking about it, and we need to establish a base on the moon first, and then we need to build stuff on the moon. And would that be evidence that I was engaging with my idea as opposed to just tossing it out? Or where would I fall on the spectrum then of imagination?Dan Hunter: 16:06I would say that you are engaged with your imagination when you get to that point, when you're starting to ask yourself what else? If you just say, go to Mars and those are the sorts of ideas that floats through your mind quite frequently. But it's far better that, as you point out, that when you become engaged with the idea and you start exploring the ramifications, what are the nuances? What are the different angles? And you feel yourself gaining interest in momentum. That's when you're engaged with your imagination. Now let me share with you what high school students at Conquer Academy wrote when they first did the HIQ, one student wrote that she wanted to write an in-depth essay on the treatment of adolescence and state mental hospitals. She also wanted to develop an algorithm to imitate Stuxnet and to see if it will could be damaged by a computer virus. Now those were pretty ambitious. Then the next questions answer Right after that, I want to get pretty your glasses. I need new blue jeans. Now, the point of that is that that's how imagination works. It's not something you reserve for the glory ideas. It's something that occurs every day, and the glory ideas come along, too. Not that often, but something you use every dayRichard Miles: 17:15You used earlier the great analogy of hitting between the foul lines. You could power the ball over the left-field bleachers, but if it's left of the foul line, people may be impressed. But it doesn't go. How does imagination translate into the type of curriculum that we teach, if at all, or testing