The classic economic dilemma of scarcity of resources is truly timeless in nature. The progress of our species over the last century has been phenomenal by any measure yet we are not any closer to solving some of the most basic challenges facing mankind. Some critics often cite lack of resources for slow progress but the solution lies not in resources but in creativity. New times demand new ways of thinking yet most of us feel nervous in stepping out of our comfort zones.
A child is fascinated by even the simplest of things and asks questions because he has a genuine desire to learn. He is not afraid to try new things and let his imagination run wild. But as he grows up, he comes to accept the worldview generally shared by most of the individuals in the society because it is simply convenient and safe to do so. Such an approach limits mankind progress because our issues, needs, and challenges continue to grow at a greater pace than our resources and the only option left is to get more out of limited resources which is not possible without creative solutions.
We already have several examples of how creativity has been improving lives around the world whether it is providing banking services to poor farmers in Africa or Asia through cell phones or using social media to provide loans to individuals and small businesses in developing countries. We have several examples around us if we pay attention such as vehicles running on cleaner energy sources such as electricity and biofuels or millions of people pooling their computing resources to help research companies and scientists advance mankind’s cumulative knowledge.
Fortunately, the world is waking up to the power of creativity as a result of globalization and I have no doubt the progress over the next few decades will exceed all of our expectations. The key is to encourage people of all ages to be not afraid to think-outside-the-box because new progress mostly comes from pursuing uncharted territories.