It is well recognised that innovation significantly impacts economic growth. Additionally, innovation is integral for providing unique solutions to social problems. Importantly, the starting point for innovation is creativity. As noted by Dr Linus Pauling, ‘The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas’. In order to develop ‘lots of ideas’ that can then be screened, individuals need to be able to think creatively.
Ultimately, there have been continuous progressions in relation to the research, theory and application of creativity. A fundamental progression is that it is now widely accepted that creativity can be fostered and developed. Thus, rather than focusing on whether or not creativity can be taught, research has now shifted towards more complex questions, including what creativity tools work best for whom and under what conditions.
Five websites that can effectively enhance creativity and thus lead to innovation include; The Grameen Creative Lab, TED: Ideas Worth Spreading, Whynot, The 99% and Squarespace. Each of these websites removes significant barriers to creativity by connecting like minded individuals and fostering continuous collaboration.
Grameen Creative Lab: ‘Social business applies to everything, including our lifestyle. This is actually the beginning of a new journey of creativity’. The Grameen Creative Lab is a website that can stimulate creative thinking, for the purpose of creating innovative social businesses to eradicate poverty globally. Rather than conducting ‘business as usual’, Professor Yunus (founder) intentionally defined entrepreneurship in a much broader manner, to radically change the nature of capitalism. Ultimately, Professor Yunus demonstrated the importance of ‘unlearning what we know’, to unlock creative capacity. The website fosters creativity by connecting people from around the world with similar objectives, creating an enriching environment and providing a continuous source of resources and research.
TED: Ideas Worth Spreading also provides an online platform that stimulates creativity and innovation. Ultimately, the portal provides ‘riveting talks by remarkable people’. There are more than 1,100 talks, covering a diverse array of topics. Each of the TED talks can stimulate new ideas, as the speakers pose thought provocative questions.
Similarly, ‘Whynot?’ provides a platform in which users can collaborate and use ‘everyday ingenuity’ to solve problems. The site encourages users to upload ‘new ideas’ which can then receive feedback and ratings from the online community. Thus, ideas are continuously developed and built upon. This process can enable ideas to progress to truly innovative solutions.
Whereas the previous websites focus on the generation and sharing of ideas, ‘The 99%’ provides a platform that is designed to help creative people implement their ideas. Thus, the website facilitates the transition from creativity to innovation. Features such as articles, tips, videos and profiles are designed to assist users with transforming ideas from a mere vision to reality.
Finally, Squarespace also enables creative individuals and entrepreneurs to implement their ideas as it provides a platform that simplifies the process of designing a website. Through utilising Squarespace, individuals (even those without technical expertise) can create an innovative website through dragging around objects, adjusting layouts and adding widgets.
Innovation is integral to continuous economic development and it can lead to the eradication of significant social problems. In order to innovate, individuals must recognize and develop their creative capacity. Creativity can be fostered through utilizing tools such as websites. The websites provided above each stimulate creativity and innovation. Websites such as The Grameen Creative Lab, TED: Ideas Worth Spreading and WhyNot provide enriching platforms for the generation of ideas. Importantly, websites such as The 99% and Squarespace facilitate the progression from creativity to innovation, through helping people implement their ideas effectively.
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