Now I know this has nothing to do with marketing, PR or blogging....


But Bruce Nussbaum, editor of the Innovation section of Business Week made a blog entry on July 10th that was so compelling, I just had to discuss it.
Headline: James Dyson Sets Up the Dyson School of Design Innovation. Wow. The James Dyson of British legend, the inventor of one of the world's best selling vacuum cleaners, and one of the U.K.'s most influential business leaders... has decided to establish a school for design innovation in Bath, England. This is big news!
This school will be open in September 2008 as a joint private and public enterprise. The James Dyson Foundation will be partnering in this venture with some leading engineering and high tech firms, as well as the Department for Education & Skills, the Learning and Skills Council and the South West of England Regional Development Agency (South West RDA).
The school curriculum is being designed to offer courses in engineering, design and business to foster talent in these critical areas among young people, and to fast-track them on to degree programs in higher education. About 2,500 students from the Bath area will be able to attend this school. Students 16 to 18 years old can enroll as full-time students and 14- to 16-year-olds can attend one day per week.
Adults will also be encouraged to attend, to either hone their skills or use this opportunity to launch into new careers. Teachers at the school will be able to develop special new programs that can be brought into other educational facilities, where they may also be teaching courses.
This development is important in many aspects. First, the Dyson Foundation is working with various British government agencies on this educational initiative. The idea of private foundations and governmental institutions working together to develop new educational initiatives is very smart.
Secondly, this new school is filling a void in the educational system.
Thirdly, with this kind of venture, Britain and its current business leaders are taking an active role in positioning its future economic growth now.
Mr. Nussbaum rightfully points out that many Western European countries get it, when it comes to understanding design and its force in society: "Invention does not automatically equate to innovation, and technology and science do not automatically equate to creativity."
He cites that the U.S. government, on the other hand, defines innovation in terms of technology and science, but not design. This will have to change if the U.S. is going to be able to compete in future. This country needs to channel significant resources in this area and that will take a reorientation of our thinking: public and private.
Understanding the power of design as it affects our future economic potential as a nation, job and wealth creation are at stake here. An ability to not only develop the competitive products and services of tomorrow, but to solve some of our most perplexing modern day problems are at stake here. Design and a design mentality make this possible, because design is a major contributor in the innovation process.
Kudos to the British: to the rest of us, let's get going!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ted Mininni is president of Design Force, Inc. (www.designforceinc.com), a leading brand-design consultancy to consumer product companies (phone: 856-810-2277). Ted is also a regular contributor to the MarketingProfs blog, the Daily Fix.