Today, our world is looking at several challenges in terms of the aging society, overpopulation leading to migration and economic crisis. These types of issues call for new approaches and skills, including creative and innovative capacities. Fostering these newer areas requires then again, new forms of teaching processes: non-formal education.
The powerful impact of giving young people the space to be innovative has been endorsed by many throughout recent times. From educationalist Ken Robinson, who has helped initiate conversations of creative energy in people and organizations, to various projects backed by the European Union focusing on innovation in youth, the spotlight on the importance of fostering creativity in young people, is very much on.
This is important: we need to support the youth with effective forms of learning
In this EU-backed report, research shows promising outcomes to non-formal education. This type of learning is provided in several ways such as:
- Being involved in an organization of a project
- Participating in special activities during a project
- Reflecting on the learning through discussions
- Listening to and giving presentations
The study reveals that there is a significant impact on learning development when it comes to topics like entrepreneurship. It additionally shows that “working in teams is perceived as the most strongly developed skill, followed by intercultural competences and the skill to negotiate joint solutions from different viewpoints.”
Taking this one step up to the business world, we can view this in the framework of Collective Creativity, the means to bridge individuals and their minds collaboratively together for breakthrough ideas and solutions.
Creativity is and will continue to be a crucial component
Take a look at the future workplace skills by 2020:
Creativity is listed third. According to the EU report, participation in non-formal education activities helps young people grow their innovative and creative skills. It is imperative for our society to move with the digital trends and set up our future communities for success.
Putting action into words
There is one woman who has been endorsing this paralleled message of youth importance for over 15 years. Csilla Fuszek worked as both a teacher and director in education, aiming to promote equal opportunities as well as supporting the field of gifted and talented education. She manages one of the Youth Platform of the European Talent Centre, where she successfully organized the second European Youth Summit that gathered talented young people across 17 countries to share their ideas and experiences.
Non-formal modes were used to engage the participants of the European Youth Summit. Lightning talks and workshops were held by guest speakers, and Be-novative, a creativity-enhancing innovation platform, was used to churn ideation sessions to the question: “What kind of projects do you want to run in the future?”
As this query became the main theme and challenge of the event, participants each played a role in the innovation process as they brainstormed, formed teams, gave presentations and joined in on discussions—all non-formal activities of learning. Members of the Youth Platform voted on the best project and plans to implement it in the future.
(Participants from the European Youth Summit during a conceptualization session)
Csilla shared, “I’ve been doing this work because our future depends on young people. I experienced firsthand that one of the most crucial elements for the youth is ensuring they have a creative climate to learn in.”
There is a universal chord that seems to resonate with us all: we need to invest in our young people—we should do so with non-formal education that fosters creativity. Our ever-changing world is constantly moving through the digital realm. This calls for different skillsets and talents, and as technology becomes more innovative, so should we. Investing in the younger generation not only strengthens their knowledge and practical skills but also their interest and commitment to entrepreneurship and smart solutions. Breakthrough solutions lead to change—including change in structures, policies and procedures to address the needs of their communities, now and in the future.