by | Ahmad Hafizi Mohamed @ Adam, Mohd Hasan Mohd Saaid
Can you imagine a day without the internet or your phone? How does it feel like? We live in an age where the inventions of past investors have become ingrained in our lives. While seasoned inventors and established industry leaders have traditionally hogged the limelight, it is becoming increasingly evident that innovation knows no age boundaries. Young inventors, armed with unrestricted curiosity, unorthodox perspectives, and a passion for exploration, are making their mark on the world in extraordinary ways. Here are some of the examples of the breakthrough inventions that we know today hatched from young inventors.
What can we learn from them?
Innovation knows no age limits. We live better lives because of the creative genius of people with innovative ideas who had the courage and initiative to bring those ideas to life. Supportive surroundings also foster creativity, encouraging young inventors to explore ideas fearlessly, learn from failures, and ultimately unlock their full innovative potential. In this section, we uncover the invaluable lessons they offer us.
Necessity to Improve Lives
When people encounter problems that directly affect their well-being, safety or quality of life, they are compelled to find solutions. Empathy and compassion towards the challenges others face, especially those less fortunate, can also inspire individuals to create inventions that alleviate suffering, improve living conditions, or enhance accessibility to resources.
Supportive surroundings play a pivotal role in nurturing the best young inventors. Positive environments provide resources, mentorship, and freedom to experiment. Louis Braille’s parents persevered, sending him to school despite his blindness. This fosters confidence, resilience, and innovative thinking, enabling him to flourish and contribute groundbreaking ideas to the world.
Dare to step outside the confines of tradition can lead to unanticipated, groundbreaking solutions. Young inventors are renowned for their ability to think beyond the boundaries. When conventional approaches fall short, they are more likely to explore unconventional methods and ideas, leading to breakthrough inventions.
Breaking Barriers with Limited Resources
Limited resources often nurture creativity. Young inventors frequently find themselves working with constrained budgets, tools and materials. Instead of allowing limitations to stifle their imagination, they view these constraints as challenges to overcome, transforming the obstacles into opportunities.
Embracing Fearlessness and Failure
One of the most notable qualities shared by young inventors is their fearlessness towards failure. While failure can be discouraging, young inventors see it as a stepping stone rather than an obstacle. This resilience and capacity to bounce back teach us that setbacks are temporary, and that pursuing innovation demands the fortitude to weather challenges.
Cultivating Curiosity and Lifelong Learning
Curiosity is the mother of invention, they say. Curiosity fuels the fire of innovation, and young inventors embody this trait wholeheartedly. Their insatiable desire to explore and understand the unexplained ignites their creative drive.
Collaboration and Multidisciplinary Approach
Young inventors recognise the value of collaboration and interdisciplinary perspectives. They often bridge various fields, combining ideas and approaches to create holistic solutions. The lesson is clear: collaborative efforts can lead to well-rounded innovations that address multifaceted challenges.
Championing Sustainable Solutions
With a heightened awareness of environmental issues, young inventors frequently prioritise sustainability in their creations. Youths like Maryam, understand that innovations should not only address current needs but also ensure a harmonious coexistence with the planet. This emphasis on sustainable solutions sends a resounding message about the importance of considering long-term consequences in every innovation.
Embodying Digital Literacy and Tech Savviness
Growing up in a digital age, young inventors possess a natural fluency in technology. Emma Yang, for example, leverages digital tools, online resources, and emerging technologies to accelerate her innovation journeys. This proficiency emphasises the significance of digital literacy in today’s rapidly evolving landscape.
Innovation takes courage. Success often involves setbacks, and even the best creators face their share of mistakes. Do not quit just because things get tough at the beginning but keep pushing forward. You absolutely can have the next great idea or contribute to new developments. Well defined problems lead to the most innovative solutions. Be brave, be bold, and make your unique ideas come to life.
However, the journey of a young inventor comes with challenges. Navigating the complex process of innovation, and the doubt that can come with being young, takes strong determination. Many young inventors struggle to get funding, find mentors, and gain credibility in established industries. But these difficulties can fuel their determination, making them find new ways and question old ways of doing things.
Supporting and nurturing young inventors is crucial for a bright innovative future. The Malaysian government, schools, industries and various organisations have been known to organise events, competitions, and programmes to create an environment where young minds can thrive and showcase their talents. Events and programmes such as Khazanah Impact Innovation Challenge, MYHackathon, ASTI’s Young Inventor Challenge (YIC), International Invention, Innovation & Technology Exhibition (ITEX), Sime Darby’s Young Innovators Challenge (SDYIC), World & Malaysia Young Inventors Exhibition (WYIE), give young inventors the chance to show their ideas and get advice from experienced people. After all, the inventions of today’s young minds hold the promise of making a better and more inventive future.