Feeding the Minds of Our Next Generation Geniuses

The foreboding weather did not deter me and 130,000 other book lovers from gathering on the US national mall for the 9th. annual book festival.

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How else does one feed our creativity and imagination but through the word?

As we pull out of this steep recession, we will need to tap our genius to create new wealth generating engines to erase the enormous debt being accumulated.

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Harvard Business recently interviewed Jeff Dyer of BYU who just completed a 6 year study on how Innovators DNA work, i.e. what makes folks such as Apple’s Steve Jobs, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos tick?

The study uncovered five key  skills common to innovators:

  • Associating
  • Questioning
  • Observe details and in particular people’s behavior
  • Experiment
  • Networking

These skill can all be summed up with one word

Inquisitiveness

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Books , not video games and television is the winning element to spur such tendencies.  Take a closer look at the poster above and see if you do not agree.

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This event was also filled with nostalgia for me.  The PBS children programming stars were out in full force.  There was  Curious George, and Authur, and Elmo, and Cleo, and Martha.

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The character that struck a special cord with me was Mr. McFeely of Mr. Rogers neighborhood.   I took a pic with him to share with my daughters, and was about to leave when he prompted me to stay!  He wanted to sign postcards for my girls, now young women in college! He was so right.  The line awating his signature contained many college students.

Click here for toolkit of the festival.

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The festival also offered a great glimpse of the future, the digital library.  There was a digital bookmobile that was a high-tech feast. One could sample ebooks, audio books, and learn how to get these materials on their mobile devices, and electronic readers.

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Reading is indeed fundamental, regardless of what form it takes.  Spark some innovation by reading to a child, or sharing a book. Join me and treasure reading as Francois Fenelon  did.

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“If the riches of the Indies, or the crowns of all the kingdom of Europe, were laid at my feet in exchange for my love of reading, I would spurn them all.”

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