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How to Tap Into Kids' Creative Confidence

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"How might be inspire young people to cultivate their creative confidence?"

That was the challenge posed by OpenIDEO several months ago: asking participants to "design fun, inspiring and new ways to help teenagers and young adults around the world preserve and nurture their own creative confidence. At a time when our world faces unprecedented challenges, how might we ensure that young people practice their creative confidence today so that they have a shot at becoming successful leaders tomorrow?"

More than 600 entries later, the winners have been announced. Among them is SelfStyle, submitted by Brad Filice. 

“A lot of people tell teens who they ought to be. But in the end only they can decide who they'll become. At SelfStyle, we believe teens want to be something great," states SelfStyle's Manifesto. "We’re creating a platform where teens create their own identity by acting on their most positive impulses. A place that encourages compassionate and generous behaviors. A place for building positive relationships, creative confidence, and well-being.”

Be sure to go through SelfStyle's complete strategy and prototype [PDF], including its app idea (this is geared towards teens, after all).


That's just one of the winners. Take a look at what the others came up with.

A Toolkit for Creative Confidence Enablers. A toolkit that helps mentors of young people—such as parents and teachers—understand creative confidence. It aids mentors in creating environments and adopting attitudes that are conducive to inspiring creative confidence in young people.

Creative Confidence Here. An online hub of curated and user-generated tools, stories, and conversations—for parents, young people, and teachers—inspiring us all to unleash our creative potential. Hosted and curated by the community.

The Electronster. A traveling truck that collects recycled electronics and brings them to kids around the country—teaching discovery by destroying unwanted stuff and using the components to build entirely new creations. It’s a cross-country collaboration with kids everywhere.

The Play Portal. An online platform that structures creative learning opportunities through games. It’s a community that strays from thinking of games as a means for accomplishing our educational goals, to education as a means for accomplishing the goals of children. They know what they want to do, and the Play Portal will help them get there in a fun way.

THXCube. “Draw, sing, and build your way to creative ideas! THXcube inspires creativity in everyday tasks. Take any task that you need to do and use the cube to reinvent it! Toss THXcube or use any side to record your iteration, and share progress or publish a final project.”

Tinker Teams. “Tinker Teams are debate clubs crossed with maker class. Kids join a local team. Teammates help and critique each other on tinkering projects, and show their work at Tinker Meets. Kids learn tinkering skills, team work, and have fun.”

Young Innovators and Artists in Residence. “The Young Artists and Innovators-in-Residence Program partners schools with the vast existing network of interdisciplinary, international artist residencies currently dedicated to the creative process and fostering creatively confident innovating.”

Young People’s OpenIDEO. “Is it possible that one of the best ways to help nurture creative confidence in young people might be right in front of our eyes? Let's enable youth to learn from and inspire each other through a modified, specially designed version of this platform and in so doing help them to connect to a larger purpose / challenge, more creatively and more confidently, together.”

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