Ever since the KMWorld conference last November I have been noodling how we learn from children to make our future better! As several speakers discussed, kids are our future customers as I noted it in my post at the time. I just found this interesting article, 12 Things We Can Learn from Children, which suggests:

1. Get excited

2. Don’t be afraid of new things

3. Have fun

4. Be curious — this relates to an earlier post on neoteny and my D&J title, Curator of Curiosity

5. Express yourself sincerely

6. Take advantage of each moment (we’ve certainly learned more about this during the past year)

7. Love fearlessly

8. Adapt to change (always renews and enriches our lives)

9. Don’t be afraid of failing; you’ll get up eventually (its our minds that limit us)

10. Don’t worry about what others think

11. Ask questions without being afraid or embarrassed (shows humility and a desire to learn)

12. Relax; don’t force things

Another interesting article along the same lines, 15 Things a Child Can Teach an Adult, includes using your imagination more. “The world has plenty of information but not enough inspiration. If you think about it, now with the technological revolution, we get access to so much information. No matter what you do, no matter who you are, no matter where you are, learn to use more of your imagination, because just like the great Albert Einstein said it: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.” Love it!

And here’s a video (now 10 years old) from child prodigy Adora Svitak who says the world needs “childish” thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids’ big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups’ willingness to learn from children as much as to teach. Excellent. Hope do we make this happen? As Adora says, “Kids needs opportunities to lead and succeed.”

So how can we harvest what our kids are thinking, hoping for, desiring in their learning environments and communities? How can we provide them with opportunities to influence adult thinking and actions?  If you’ve got ideas I’d like to hear them and if you have examples of where this is happening, even better!  Look forward to hearing from you.