Cynthia Gusman-Nolan fights to nurture the innovation mindset

In a world driven by innovation, cultivating an ideation mindset has become more crucial than ever before.

The team at Groei recently invited our very own Cynthia Gusman-Nolan, Gateway to Industry Schools Program Project Manager, to be a keynote speaker at their inaugural Innovation summit in partnership with Bond University at their Spring Hill Brisbane Campus.  “We had the privilege of organising an inspiring day of exploration and peer-led problem-solving activities for high school students, with a focus on nurturing their innovation potential” said Groei Project Director, Tara Jacobsen. 

Cynthia used her session to demonstrate the power of innovation and set the stage for young to truly reflect on what makes innovation. 

To keep the students engaged Cynthia threw merchandise into the audience for students to catch when they answer a question; one of the questions was asking the 60 students what was being thrown to them.  She didn't want to define it, she wanted the students to tell her what the item was.  The answers were interesting, simultaneously, the girls in the room said a “fan” while the boys said “Frisbee” – you see the item was the same, but it was being used in very different way. 

Students were then asked what this item could be, and the ideas flooded in - a plate, a parachute (if enough were stitched together), a spot to sit or stand on, a warning indicator (the yellow and red ones), a photo filter (diffuser), a sunshade, a rain hat - and the ideas kept coming.

Cynthia continued to explain how innovation comes from working with others and collaborating, and together they reached the point of understanding that creativity plus implementation equals innovation.  And crucially without the implementation it is just a pipedream.  

She concluded by presenting that it is question “What if?” that drives us to be innovative.  

Happy child with toy paper wings playing at home. Kid having fun. Success, creative and start up concept

Following on from her successful presentation, Cynthia went on to publish an article in The Information Age, titled 'Nurturing the innovation mindset', where she states:

"Innovative thinking involves breaking free from conventional thinking and embracing a mindset that thrives on creativity and out-of-the-box solutions.

Innovation is not a fleeting concept; it's a mindset that can be nurtured and cultivated over time. It is like a muscle that keeps on needing exercise.

Innovation is not done in isolation but collaboratively, within an environment that is not part of your daily routine, like your home office or work desk."

To read the full article, click here.