In my previous article, I tried to put into perspective why it is important for students to learn critical thinking. Today, I would like to talk more about the importance of innovation.

First of all, let me define innovate:


According to the Oxford dictionary, to innovate means to make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products.


Note the fundamental difference between being innovative and being creative.

When we talk about innovation, we are building on something which has already been established. We do so by adding something new. However, when it comes to creation, we are bringing something that did not exist before into existence.

Hence, if I were to define it, being innovative encompasses creativity. The creativity portion in an innovation is fitted into a pre-existing framework. Innovation is applied creativity.

Having said that, I would like to clarify that I am not discounting the importance of pure creativity. There must be some people out there to do pure creation in order to bring in new stimuli, an important ingredient to advance the world.

However, I feel that to empower anyone to contribute better to the society, we have to exercise a bit more creativity in the applied form.  The creation has got to connect with the people. The creation has to be workable. If the creation is also revolutionary, we may even get to make a quantum leap. And this is innovation.

Being a rebel is definitely not just about pure creativity and freedom of expression as most of us might have stereotyped them as at one point or another. If much of the creativity are applied in nature, rebels too can make a big contribution to the society. Rebels are not there to challenge for the sake of challenging. Rebels are there to make a difference, to make the world better.

Just look at Lady Gaga.