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Exposure to innovation was a focus of a recent report by researchers from MIT, Harvard and Xavier universities teamed up on a research to investigate the influence of exposure towards determining who becomes an innovator.

They published their research finding right on the eve of Christmas in 2017. What factors do you think influence people to become inventors? Is it exposure to innovation or what else? They explored data of an excess of 1 million inventors in America.

By the end of this article you will be aware on what can be done to increase the level of invention in your country or at your workplace.

They found that if you expose children, women and minorities to innovation, may trigger their urge to become innovators.

Innovators are the engine of economic growth and hence exposure to innovation. Think of any innovation in your country and look at its impact on the economy. In Kenya, MPESA was introduced as an innovative way of sending money using mobile phones. Kenyans can tell you how that innovation has helped transform the world of everyone even for those who ‘resist.’

Safaricom’s MPESA has created jobs for thousands of Kenyans in Kenya through MPESA agent shops and many other jobs. This is just one example how exposure to innovation can change people’s lives.

The researchers tracked the lives of inventors, right from their childhood to establish who becomes an inventor. They made a number of findings. They found out that children of the rich and super-rich are more likely to become inventors.

The white children are three times more likely to become inventors when compared to black children. Further, it was established that just 18% of the inventors were women. They approximated that the world needs 118 years to bridge the gender parity gap.

In America, two factors determine whether you will come an inventor or not: a) having a rich family and b) excelling in science and Mathematics.

Exposure to Innovation

According to our researchers, getting exposed to innovation increases the probability of becoming an inventor.  Children who grow in areas with many inventors get more exposed to innovation and are more likely to become inventors themselves.

Children from wealthy families are more likely to become inventors.

White children are three times likely to end up as inventors compared to black children.

Males are more likely to become inventors as compared to females. In fact, the researchers found out that only 18% of the 1 million inventors were women.

Children whose parents are inventors or hold patents in a certain class of technology are likely to hold patents in the same line of technology.

According to the researchers, the kind of neighborhood where you bring up your children matters in determining their life’s outcomes.

In better neighborhoods, children get high quality education, networks, better transmission of information and mentorship.

If the ‘girl child’ is exposed to female inventors instead of ‘slay queens’ that child is more likely to become an inventor. Expose your child to thieves and he/she will become a thief.

We can improve our economic growth through innovation by targeting to help children who excel in Mathematics and Sciences. This does not mean that we ignore those who are good in languages or social sciences.

Let us make sure our children benefit from exposure to innovation? How can we ensure this happens. Let us know in the comments section below.

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