Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
When Covid-19 was installed in Mexico and classes migrated to online platforms, teaching innovation classes acquired a new meaning. Now the social and technological phenomena that can be used to generate innovative content have taken a back seat.
I wanted to teach my students, interest them in something and support them. The only way I could think of was to work with them on digital communication projects that had some innovation. A fairly accepted definition of innovation is to make improvements in the process or presentation of something, so the kids got creative from what they liked.
With two hours of class a week, the students studied concepts, analyzed proposals and created interesting things. These guys, almost all from the last communication semesters at UP , worked for almost eight weeks on their prototypes, pitch presentations, designed audiences and prepared for a vote with music, photography, ecology, fashion, history projects, among others. .
What really matters
The first lesson I received this semester was hand in hand with the topics that stand out to them. There was no shortage of sports and music projects, however, what impressed me the most is that they identified specific and key problems for which they offered interesting solutions.
For example, Jorge likes basketball and the problem he identified is that all the summaries are very long. Pamela is a gamer and likes to put gameplays as background sound to keep her company, what I didn’t know is that there is a complete market to develop her idea.
What I learned: that the best place to look for innovation is in what you are passionate about. Everyone knows what they want and therefore will look for ways to improve that. Here, thanks to the brand new editor of this portal, I complemented the instruction with an important premise: fall in love with the problem you will solve, not with your proposal. Voilà !
Araiza is a fan of photography and devised an app that allows you to share the hotspots to take good photos and use those of others to have those dream photos.
Money does matter: change more
Lesson number two: people want to do a lot of things, but they don’t know where to start. With this class my children reinforced an idea that I teach sporadically, but now they gave me tools for its execution: most of us like to be shown the way.
Two of the finalist projects focused on this idea. For example, Valeria’s Futuro Circular app ensures that people want to be green but have no idea how to get started. If this app could be developed, users in addition to receiving daily content up to date, could see its progress to be increasingly green. This was the winning prototype, by the way.
Another interesting idea: an app designed for people who want to improve their image. The innovation that Fernanda proposes is in that segment of the population that does not take the time to do it and the way in which it will catch their attention. Interesting, right?
Several prototypes focused on promoting culture and history in a fun way, another app wanted to boost the sale of books through curious data. Three wanted to take advantage of social networks to convey their message.
Experience makes the difference
Finally, Dany taught us that in a world full of fakenews , being certain of what we know through verification is necessary. Your app would be a very good thing for journalists who support their work on facts, as well as for the entire population that wants to have truthful information.
WabiSabi, translated from Japanese as the “beauty of imperfection”, was one of the projects that I personally liked the most. In addition to content, the users could answer a quiz about what they learned that day and, by accumulating enough points, those who participate could receive up to 10 products with the sole objective of pampering the woman.
For Paula, this app “offers a personalized experience in which women know more about how to love each other both outside and inside on a daily basis … It is time to accept, value and love ourselves even with our failures,” she says in her pitch.
The coronavirus, with its lightning learnings, taught me the incredible talent of the generations that are about to finish their studies. I think the most important lesson my students left for me this semester is that innovation comes from within. We may not understand or define it, but we can express it.
Music, art, culture, sports, photography, journalism and love for oneself has to do with that, with filling ourselves. Although it is not about material things, it is important to complete ourselves with what matters, that which gives us new experiences and that changes us.
Thank you Araixa, Lore, Manlio, Jorge, Valeria, Dany León, Gaby, Fer, Michelle, Paula, Denise, Dany Rodríguez, Pamela, Guillermo, Mariana, Penny. And all the success, they deserve it.