Archive for March, 2010

2010 Synopsys Championship

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Just got back from judging at the 2010 Synopsys Championship in San Jose, California. As in for many years, I was part of a group judging team entries from the East Side Union High School District. I have a couple of new observations from this event.Ā First, I applied my interest in creativity, innovation and leadership in judging this time. Out of 25 team projects, about half were what I would deem creative meaning they were not typical science fair material. About 3 came across as innovative meaning they had chosen a timely topic (which helps quite a bit), thought about the impact, and incorporated a personal interest angle. What occurred to me strongest though was the ease of collaboration (especially with our top team selection) perhaps due to the youthful age category. The social knit of high school teams is probably very different (more friendly) from those of older (college) students and working professionals. The associated bond and trust probably lends itself to greater creativity and, with the proper guidance, distinctive innovation.

My second observation concerns the entries from the Latino College Preparatory Academy (San Jose). It was a meaningful contrast to many science fair projects that had access to ample resources. It demonstrated that the passion for science can be found and fostered even in resource-poor circumstances, and that with encouragement and experienced mentoring, an opportunity to move on to the next level of competition may be well within reach.

21st Annual National Service-Learning Conference

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010
The 21st Annual National Service-Learning ConferenceĀ®
March 24-27, 2010
San Jose, California

From browsing the Sir Ken Robinson web site, I came across a link to the National Service-Learning Conference, an event organized by the National Youth Leadership Council. The next session will be on March 24-27, 2010 in San Jose, California. The program guide lists, among other things, Ken Robinson as one of the keynote speakers, and several environmentally-themed events.

Imagine it! – Post-It Challenge

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Here’s a video documenting an exercise presented by Tina Seelig (Executive Director, STVP, Stanford). This is an example of one of the creativity/entrepreneurship team challenges that Dr. Seelig poses to students in her class at Stanford. You can find a broader description of the challenges in Chapter 1 Buy One, Get Two Free of her book “What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20.”

Leadership by Age Stages

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Earlier this week, I was composing a web page for the first CSDGC Youth Leadership program: Next Generation Creativity, Innovation and Sustainable Leadership (YCISL) workshop – we’re looking at August 15-24, 2010 presently. As usual, I worked up an eye-catching graphic to serve as the centerpiece of this web page. It is based on a schematic I have on my office whiteboard that lays out a progression of changing leadership objectives starting from youth and ending at professionals. It is an approximation by age group (although I actually use mostly educational status in this graphic) of what the objectives are most likely to be in order for those designing leadership development programs to be addressing these needs.


On Creativity, Innovation & Sustainable Leadership

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

In my current situation at Stanford University, I am able to observe many streamlets of efforts to discover knowledge and hence exert leadership. As you would expect, there are students, researchers and even administrators engaged in this endeavor. More curious, I see a multitude of centers and institutes formed at Stanford, and other universities around the US and the rest of the world. In this academic universe, there is much discussion circulating around the topics of creativity, innovation and leadership, and often I find myself with a view that there is so much more to learn, and a long way to go to get it right.

Myself, I am also highly dedicated to education. At one level is the university setting where I teach knowledge-based courses, and also design and execute programs to instill useful interactive skills. Having school-aged children of my own, I have several avenues of becoming involved with youth: from judging at science fairs to coaching youth basketball and being on academic committees. My own elementary and high school experience was fascinating and memorable; highly unique and enlightening.

So, I am going to use this web site to compile articles, resources and thoughts relevant to youth creativity, innovation and sustainable leadership. I expect it will become quite a hodge-podge, but I will also attempt to tie things together periodically with impressions and supported viewpoints as a result of this effort. And I am happy to share these with others.