Last month saw the end of another year working with Project Paradigm and The Paradigm Challenge. I connected with the organization in 2016 as they were beginning plans for their inaugural Prize Ceremony. It's been such a joy growing with the org as each year brings more and more great ideas for making the world a better place.
Past projects include new public services, app development, and real-life inventions primed for making the world better. I'm always so impressed by each team's new way of thinking. We see simple solutions, like an oven mitt fitted with a fire-proof blanket to be readily accessible in a kitchen fire, and complex solutions, like a portable lead contamination water safety device.
It's not just about judging final projects and pitches. The team is dedicated to equipping students and teachers to bring these ideas to life. In explaining and exploring the scientific method, the kids learn the importance of trying and failing: that failing isn't bad, it's learning. And it's a necessary part of innovation. Winning teams are provided resources to make their projects a reality - whether that's help with patent licenses, finding investors, or organizing a community initiative.
Something I've been thinking about lately is the importance of play and failure. Failures can be a hard thing to celebrate, but each one is a step in the right direction. A good lesson for us all.