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Innovation Is Dead, Long Live Innovation

The pursuit of innovation has become the Holy Grail, but how do you put something real and effective out into the world?

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The pursuit of innovation has taken over pop culture as the Holy Grail every organization should strive for. From big tech, consumer electronics, and automotive, to fashion, and even food, everyone is gunning for innovation. Often perceived as "think tanking"—dreaming up solutions and ideating in multicolored Post-Its—innovation is a necessity to compete in the marketplace. The "soft innovation" and strategy process is the preliminary part of that, yes. But the hardest, most valuable, and elusive bit is the execution and integration with, often times archaic, systems.


Two years ago the inaugural No Right Brain Left Behind innovation challenge asked the creative industries to dream up solutions that could help the creativity crisis in the United States' education system. In seven days, the challenge yielded 300 concepts from some of the top creative companies in the nation.

However, when it came to integrating our solutions within the educational system, it soon become clear that we didn't have a clue what we were doing. We did not have the infrastructure, educator support, or resources to generate any measurable impact. Looking at the praise, engagement, and participation we received, the challenge was a huge success. When it came to making an impact on the ground, we failed.

SLÖJD is our latest addition to NRBLB programming, and is a focused exercise in "hard innovation" that tackles an epic problem. This past May, we invited nine designers to prototype a breakthrough product that would empower educators and enhance creative development in students. Sure there were some Post-Its on walls, but the main emphasis was to build, get student and educator feedback, and present to a panel of guest critics for feedback and next-step iteration.

The goal was to put something real and effective out into the world. Was it a finished product in six days? No. But we shipped, learned plenty along the way, and were fortunate enough to win the LA2050 grant, which gave us some seed funding to pilot the product at Locke High School in Los Angeles' Watts neighborhood.

The above video will give you a deeper look into our world and our process, and tell you what SLÖJD means. We welcome your feedback and ideas, and look forward to sharing what we learn as we move forward at Locke.

Click here to add downloading or sharing this Design Thinking For Educators toolkit to your GOOD to-do list.

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This article was produced in partnership with the United Nations to launch the biggest-ever global conversation on the role of cooperation in building the future we want.

When half of the world's population doesn't share the same opportunity or rights as the other half, the whole world suffers. Like a bird whose wings require equal strength to fly, humanity will never soar to its full potential until we achieve gender equality.

That's why the United Nations made one of its Sustainable Development Goals to "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls." That goal includes providing women and girls equal access to education and health care, as well as addressing gender-based discrimination and violence against women and girls.

While there is still much work to be done, history shows us that we are capable of making big leaps forward on this issue. Check out some of the milestones humanity has already reached on the path to true equality.

Historic Leaps Toward Gender Equality

1848 The Seneca Falls Convention in New York, organized by Elizabeth Lady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, is the first U.S. women's convention to discuss the oppression of women in sociopolitical, economic, and religious life.

1893 New Zealand becomes the first self-governing nation to grant national voting rights to women.

1903 Marie Curie becomes the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. She is also the only woman to win multiple Nobel Prizes, for Physics in 1903 and Chemistry in 1911.

1920 The 19th Amendment is passed in the U.S. giving women the right to vote in all 50 U.S. states.

1973 The U.S. Open becomes the first major sports tournament of its kind to offer equal pay to women, after tennis star Billie Jean King threatened to boycott.

1975 The first World Conference on Women is held in Mexico, where a 10-year World Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women is formed. The first International Women's Day is commemorated by the UN in the same year.

1979 The UN General Assembly adopts the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), also known as the "Women's Bill of Rights." It is the most comprehensive international document protecting the rights of women, and the second most ratified UN human rights treaty after the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

1980 Vigdis Finnbogadottir of Iceland becomes the first woman to be elected head of state in a national election.

1993 The UN General Assembly adopts the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, the first international instrument to explicitly define forms of violence against women and lay out a framework for global action.

2010 The UN General Assembly creates the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) to speed progress on meeting the needs of women and girls around the world.

2018 The UN and European Union join forces on the Spotlight Initiative, a global, multi-year initiative focused on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.

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As the UN celebrates its 75th anniversary, it is redoubling its commitment to reach all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including gender equality. But it will take action and effort from everyone to ensure that women and girls are free from discrimination and violence. Learn more about what is being done to address gender equality and see how you can get involved here.

And join the global conversation about the role of international cooperation in building the future by taking the UN75 survey here.

Let's make sure we all have a say in the future we want to see.

Communities
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Perez claims he was responding to insults hurled at him by the officers. The police say that Perez was picking a fight. The altercation left Perez with a broken nose, scrapes, swelling, and bruises from his hips to his shoulder.

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