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Pietro Speroni di Fenizio

Researcher, Coimbra University


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Should we ask kids to help us solving the real world problems? And if yes, how?

To answer here you really should see the World Peace Game talk first.

When in the comment section on the World Peace game I commented that the game could not possibly be realistic and be solvable that easily, protested that the kids are too young for that.

Well, Ken Robinson makes a good point that children are born creative (or genius) and are educated out of their creativity. And I remember reading that the number of gifted children is quite high for low age, but then as time goes by (and children age) the percentage drops.

So maybe we could let kids help us in solving the world problems. Not when they grow up, right now!
(I pity the parents of such a kid: -"go to bed at 7, and stop speaking about the UN that is making your mother uncomfortable ;-) ")

It could really be done, by presenting the problem in all its complexity to them, and ask them what would they do.

There is an experimental way of citizen jury where a random sample of the population is invited to hear about a problem. For 2 days they receive information from the experts, and then they vote on what should be done.

An example of what could be done here is to have a group of children, and have them hear from the experts what is the situation. Maybe it would work better if each children would try to take the point of view of one of the real world participant, and maybe to have more than one children per role. A sort of young advisor council.

It would be like the World Peace Game, but more complex, with more children for each role, and only trying to decide a single move.

Of course the long term effect psychological of this experience on them should be considered. It would surely make them mature faster. In an age where people feel they are not fully adult well in their thirties it might have some interesting side effects.


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    Apr 22 2011: We should not give children any responsebilety, but we ought to ask them for advise.
    It might take, till they are old them self to solve the problems created by there ancestors, so they should have the oportunety to start es early as possible.

    Childhood is not at least the time to prepare for the challenges of life, and the best way to practise a skill is to practise it.
    • Apr 25 2011: You know, I've written some quick posts that I don't feel so "complete" about. Sorry.
      But, when Philipp says, "but we ought to ask them for advice", it made me think, aha!
      of course, we can't put this responsibility on them but why can't we and why shouldn't
      we, ask them what they think?

      There is no harm or added pressure, in that. I think most adults could handle that in a non-pressure way and generally speaking, I don't think it would add stress'
      to their minds or lives unless they are in some sort of tumultuous situation already.

      If they inquire for more, then they should most likely have more imparted to them, but without their being
      responsible. Anyway, just wanted to say that.
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        Apr 25 2011: Absolutely, anyone experiencing gravitational pull should be encouraged to participate and voice their opinions. Children, the aged, heck everyone.
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          Apr 26 2011: Yes, totally agree to ask kids for advise. 4th graders is one, though with 'lost' 16 year olds it also works as empowerment I have a guy called Humberto Schwab do.

          The main premises I read in this conversationis; "Man, to think like a kid, that would be great!" So is there a way we as adults can 'think as a 9 year old 'sometimes"...

          TEDx update : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAe9iraJkms&feature=relmfu getting childlike creativity back.

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