You don’t have to be a genius. You don’t need to have graduated from school – let alone university. The world is relying less and less on the formal constructs of society – more than ever the future belongs to those who innovate.

Around a year ago, Forbes featured an online article regarding a ‘New Era of Innovation’ – describing the forefront of technology and what the demands, when it comes to human capacity, will be. One year in, and I believe there is a strong enough pull to support this analysis.

The past 20 years have been a time where the challenge has always been engineering – things have not been possible simple due to lack of code or function. But we have now got to a point where virtually (literally) everything is possible. It’s combining and consolidating the new technologies and developments that is seen as the greatest task.

In many ways, society has been desperate for systems like this to become a reality. How do we construct our lives when it comes to the latest technology? What dictates a balanced, measured life that will help people maintain their sanity while not missing out on all the new wonders of this exciting age?

Innovation is set to be one of the greatest skills required for success in the next generation. It’s no longer about creating things from scratch, but rather integrating programs and systems in a way that will enhance the overall life of any user.

Innovation is a creative skill. It’s about applying the constraints and successes of specific situations┬áin a way that can solve problems. The visionary will no longer be the painter before a blank canvas, but the landscaper working with very specific terrain. The ‘work of art’ is no longer a single creation, but how you combine and apply multiple creations to facilitate a multidimensional experience that could span the breadth of a lifetime.┬áIt’s about taking the possibilities of the world around you and harnessing them to work for you specifically.

Some great examples of innovators are:

Jack Andraka – at age 15, he has found an inexpensive way of detecting multiple forms of cancer in their early stages. Not only is he impressing people triple his age, but he is literally changing lives with his innovation.

Eesha Khare – has invented a tiny device that can charge cellphones in a matter of seconds. At just 18 – she is proof that life doesn’t only begin once you have a degree.

Ann Makosinski – is a recent school graduate who has invented a Hollow flashlight that converts the heat of your hand into light energy. Check her out on Jimmy Fallon below:

But the world does not only belong to those who are able to invent gadgets.

John Meyer – 21, has developed an online news platform that allows any person to report transparently on unfolding events from their device. Fresco News has its own app on Apple TV and the content has also been bought by Fox indefinitely for reporting purposes.

Aditya Agerwalla – created a mobile app that enables local farmers to sell their crop straight away, cutting out middle-men and supplying wholesome products directly to the market. In India it has been used to move over 1 million pounds of crops in less than a year. At 23, this innovator still has a very bright future.

Feeling inspired? Or challenged? In many ways, all of these people had two defining skills that enabled them to be successful:

  1. They could clearly identify a problem
  2. They were able to apply information systematically.

I believe we are all able to grow in this area. If you would like to improve your innovation skills – check out this article. In it there are some clear guidelines to describe this elusive quality that the world is now demanding more and more. More than ever, it’s time to innovate!

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