Innovation for Education

  • September 18, 2017
  • Scott
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Innovation isn’t just for startups. For those who joined us at Driven 2017, you’ve experienced what innovation around digital process transformation can look like in the enterprise: our clients are doing really innovative things with RPA, digital process innovation, and decision management.  More importantly, our clients are innovating around health, wealth, and energy. And at our science fair we showed off more than a dozen different demonstrations of innovative ideas from the BP3 team, inspired by our customers.

And we know that Innovation isn’t just happening at Fortune 500 companies or Startups. It is happening in our Universities.  When I graduated from college many years ago, there weren’t too many courses, if any, about entrepreneurship in a typical undergraduate curriculum.  Universities have come a long way: last year there were 145 courses on entrepreneurship at Stanford, causing Steve Blank to declare that Stanford is an incubator with dorms.  At BP3 we’ve benefited from the great programs at UT, Rose-Hulman, Michigan and Wisconsin, to name a few.

But why wait until University level to start opening our minds to innovation and entrepreneurship? Why not start with preschool and elementary students?  That’s the question that Austin’s own Magellan International School asked and answered by opening a new innovation center for primary education.

On September 1st, Magellan cut the ribbon on the i.Lab for Design + Making:  a new center of gravity for innovation at Magellan.  At Magellan, they are teaching the next generation of innovators and design-thinkers – and the cumulative effect of this early start in innovative education is bound to be amazing. Magellan is integrating innovation, design-thinking, making, tech, and entrepreneurship with the International Baccalaureate curriculum.  It is one of the first programs of its kind in Texas, but Magellan’s i.Lab stands on the shoulders of those who have come before, including the University of Texas and Stanford’s d.School, as well as other innovative programs.

From Magellan’s press release:

“Magellan, with its incredible sense of identity and community, is an ideal environment for innovation and I’m so glad to be a part of the school’s journey,” said Patrick Benfield. “Maker-centered learning empowers students to shape their world in meaningful ways, and is the perfect complement to the school’s culture.”

The i.Lab aligns Magellan with the culture and economic drivers of Austin, and it will be a touchstone for community engagement at Magellan for years to come. The space really jumps off the page with color and inspiration.

My family originally got involved with Magellan because of it’s Spanish immersion language offering, and it’s International Baccalaureate curriculum.  But what we discovered is that its focus on multi-disciplinary teaching and thinking produces innovative thinkers.  And so we stayed for the long haul.  And I see Magellan fitting into the fabric of Austin: a place where innovation is encouraged and fostered, leading to the local universities that also foster design thinking and entrepreneurship, feeding into the startups and tech companies – not to mention music and the arts – that flourish in Austin.

You can just feel all the positive energy and creativity in the room waiting to be unleashed!

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