TED Conversations

Dennis Hitzeman

manager, Innisfree Farm

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This kid is amazing but rare. Why are we having such a hard time fostering this kind of creativity in kids when the tech is there?

There are all kinds of opportunities for kids--and adults--to transition from just consumers to consumers and producers, yet it happens so infrequently. What kinds of methods do you think we could use to foster this kind of curiosity and motivation to create a society of producers starting at a young age?


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  • Nov 19 2011: Every child is of unimagineable creativity. Why is this one such a big-deal?

    Is app-programming in any aspect more creative than building a dam? Or an Model Airplane?

    The logics of programming can be modeled in nature at a river-flow, there's no need for programming other than a later carreer. That's what impresses adults, but does he understand that?

    I'm a bit glad that I didn't have such a "support" (in whos interest??) when I was making basic with my c64 at 9years old. There has been a lot of fun outdoors I had probably have missed.
    What I've learned from that without any "support" (pressure of expectation) did help me later on, so why making a twelve year old a professional app-dev? It's a waste of his youth, because he allready learned everything ... he doesn't have to proof it to anyone.

    It's a boring and lonely thing, and even Bustin Jieber apps are a serious activity. Shouldn't he have fun with other kids on the streets, meeting girls and so on? Will he be able to talk to the kids in his class about the things that worries him? Does he learns flirting with girls? Is it good for a childs development to stand out that much from the others pupils?

    Child-prodigies are mostly parent's determination. Such things hardly happen accidently.
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      Nov 19 2011: Frankly, because he's not sitting in front of the television like so many of his peers.

      Yes, children--and adults--are capable of unlimited creativity. How many of them are realizing that potential?

      Again, I am not suggesting that every kid should be an app developer, but I am suggesting that we exist in a, perhaps, unique period in history where we can encourage creativity in a way than has never been possible before, and by doing so, we can advance ourselves and our world in ways we could not have imagined even twenty years ago.

      Unfortunately, what I see instead, at least in my part of the US, isn't kids playing outside (which is its own kind of creativity) or any of the things you suggest but instead becoming new members of a consumer culture that produces less and less even as it consumes more and more.

      I know that is a harsh assessment, but I believe it is also a true one, and unless we reverse that trend, we doom ourselves as so many previous consumer civilizations have managed to do.
      • Nov 20 2011: I didn't mean any opposition to your post.

        But I think that question has nothing to do with the boy in the Video. He does nothing more creative than others, but he probably works harder, is more success-oriented, and has less fun.

        That's not the way to inspire children, I believe.

        But I respect him, it will pay off in his carrer that is for sure. But he pays with his youth.
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          Nov 21 2011: I agree that he is no more creative, but he is more motivated and I think we need to figure out how to motivate children to be producers more than consumers.

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