• NEETs corner: Necessity is a good thing

    by  • October 2, 2012 • Schools and Communities • 0 Comments

    In a previous post I mentioned how the news should always be taken with a pinch of salt because good news doesn’t sell newspapers as well as bad news. It is, however, becoming increasingly worrying when the words “recession” and “economy” and “difficult” are constantly on.

    A good idea - necessity is good for creativity and innovation

    A good idea – necessity is good for creativity and innovation

    There is a saying, however, that can turn this around – necessity is the mother of invention. It would seem that in times of economic downturns, we are all in need. If you look at previous recessions you will find that they brought us quite a number of inventions, all of which are around us all the time it is hard to imagine life without them: the chocolate chip cookie, the car radio, the supermarket, the laundrette, the photocopier and the monopoly game were all invented during the Great Depression.

    Other products were also invented and introduced in economically turbulent times: the ketchup and the basketball game are both products of the Long Depression. The compact florescent light was invented during the 70’s recession. Some of these were created as a direct reaction to the economic circumstances, but some were simply people thinking completely differently.

    Similarly, these days, the land speed record was broken by an electric car. Not just any electric car, but a car that will not shame any of the Top Gear guys if it were on their driveways.

    Sometimes, when times are difficult, we have to think differently about how we do things. Particularly if these are things we are used to be doing without thinking about them. Why? Because we have less money in our pockets and we want to stretch it as far as we can. So – in the 70’s the GE created a light bulb that doesn’t need to use as much electricity to run because the world was suffering from an oil crisis. Last week, we saw proof that electric cars can be fast and attractive and will cost us less to top up (with the price of petrol at around £1.35 a litre).

    As young adults in this, you are faced with a lot of difficulties. But as young adults, you also have a far greater capability to invent new solutions.  It’s time to be creative, inventive and innovative.

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