The power of innovation
What we need in Nigeria currently is more innovation, more visionary thinkers who are innovative. We need to get our youth excited about innovative thinking and entrepreneurship. If we want to break the cycle of myriads of youth unemployed and contributing nothing to society, we must foster an environment that is conducive to innovation. Our educational system needs a radical transformation.
We are in a time like no other in our nation. Millions of people are losing their jobs, our public health system is in shambles, the price of food is sky high and businesses are struggling.
It is a disillusioning period and the look of despair is on all faces. Our economy is strained and the poverty in our country unimaginable with one hearing forlorn tales of people trading their children for food and stolen food from stove pots as daily occurrences.
Real progress in being able to move our country forward will require creativity and innovative ideas, skills that must be nurtured. It is a continual process and will pay dividends for our future. It would enable us to find solutions to the problems that beset us; like how to solve our energy problem, becoming self reliant in our food production, and how to abet our health crisis to name a few of the issues before us. We must start thinking now, and get off our collective inertia. Our future as a nation is bleak if we fail to embrace the urgency to focus on creativity and innovation.
The upside is at times of adversity, people dig deeper to survive. According to experts, when you are faced with doing more with less, that drives people to be innovativeness and creativity in ways that they were unable to when they were complacent with a lot. You learn to stretch your meager resources to get the most from it. The good news is that Nigerians are experts in this aspect; There just needs to be a nurturing environment for this to excel and be appealed in the many sectors that need rejuvenation like our businesses, education and modus operandi.
History never lies Historians have stated that the most innovative periods for nations were when they were forced to become creative to survive; think of Britain during World War II and the United States of America.
The hardships of the Great Depression spurred a period of unparalleled creativity according to a University of Manchester historian. Iconic landmarks such as Manchester Central Library, Manchester Town hall extension, the Mersey Tunnel and the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall were all built during the early 1930s.
Legendary innovations were molded during times of adversity (the period of the great depression 1920-1940) like the creation of the TV, neoprene, penicillin, iron lung, scoth tape, car radio, jet engine, electron microscope, Polaroid photography(we could go on and on, there were a lot of discoveries during this tough time.) Opportunities were seen in adversity and value was created.
Even nature shows us that stress, conflict and adversity produces gems; think of the creation of pearls. Natural Pearls form when an irritant – usually a parasite and not the proverbial grain of sand – works its way into an oyster, mussel, or clam. As a defense mechanism, a fluid is used to coat the irritant. Layer upon layer of this coating, called ‘nacre’, is deposited until a lustrous pearl is formed.