Last updated on 04/30/2019
Dougherty, I. , & Clarke, A. . (2018). Wired for Innovation: Valuing the Unique Innovation Abilities of Emerging Adults. Emerging Adulthood, 6, 358-365. SAGE Publications Inc. doi:10.1177/2167696817739393
This conceptual article argues that young people’s brains are “wired for innovation” and that society should better engage this age-group to access its innovation potential. Research published in the neuroscience and developmental psychology literature shows that between 15 and 25 years of age adolescents and emerging adults possess traits of successful innovators. They are collaborative, creative, observant, curious, willing to experiment, willing to challenge the status quo, risk-takers, action oriented, and visionary. In addition, Millennials and Generation Z are coming of age in a context that provides them with innovation ability during adolescence and emerging adulthood beyond that of previous generations. This article proposes that organizations able to effectively engage young people will be more innovative. Also, when young people are meaningfully engaged, society is more likely to find solutions needed to tackle social, environmental, and economic challenges. © 2017 Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood and SAGE Publications.