12721 ED: Innovation Generation: Cultivating the Skills for Tomorrow’s World
Organizers: Craig Watkins, Andres Lombana-Bermudez, Krishnan Vasudevan
Presenters: Alexander Cho, Julian Sefton-Green
In the context of a changing knowledge economy, precarious labor, rapid technological transformation, and increasing inequality many young people struggle to find meaningful career pathways. Today, young people must learn to navigate the rapidly changing world of work, in part, by creating new paths to social and economic opportunity. As a growing number of cities invest in the design of innovation districts we turn our focus elsewhere: to the innovation practices and ecosystems that young people are building. Many young people are learning to mobilize and access some of the resources–economic, social, technological, and physical– that are often associated with more powerful spheres of economic activity and entrepreneurship. Determined to pursue their social and professional aspirations, these youths are cultivating social networks, learning new skills, using technology in dynamic ways, and creating new kinds of spaces–offline and online–to support creative civic, social, and economic activity within the cities and regions where they live. But more needs to be done.
In this unique workshop we combine the screening of a short film that showcases how a growing number of millennials are remixing innovation with a discussion that addresses two central questions: What does the film suggest about the skills that young people must develop as the world of work and opportunity continue to be transformed? How do we encourage our education and city leaders to build vibrant innovation hubs that are intentionally designed to attract a greater diversity of young people while also helping them develop the skills required for social and economic opportunity? We invite designers, artists, educators, policy leaders, researchers, and local youth to brainstorm ideas and collectively outline policies and initiatives that support the development and spread of more open, diverse, and dynamic innovation hubs.