One of the reasons open innovation is so successful and so applicable for so many organisations is because it contradicts the natural hierarchies of businesses. These hierarchies, while they may help organisations continue day to day operations, often create real obstacles in terms of innovation. It’s often quite difficult for some leaders to believe that their best business ideas can come from individuals within their own networks instead of highly paid consultants, but that’s exactly what 16 year old Samantha Marquez demonstrates.
Samantha Marquez is a junior in Richmond, Virginia at Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies who’s had a passion for science since the age of ten. She won first place in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for her innovative invention, Celloidosomes®, a unique 3D organised cell structure that allows scientists to upgrade from Petri dishes into using multi-cellular structures that overcome oxygen transport limitations. Marquez’ new invention could help improve the process of building multi-cellular structures to human health problems including tissue engineering.
Marquez’ curiosity and drive have helped her become a young scientist and inventor, but what she also notes as important is the education background she receives. In an interview with The Scientific Research Society, Sigma Xi, Marquez notes that education systems should be about more than just “getting a grade” and should stimulate interest in research with students. Not to mention, Marquez feels as though youth admire socialites more than Nobel laureates: “I think it is vital to stress to kids that leadership is not about ability, it is about responsibility; responsibility to ourselves, our family, our community, our country, and our planet.”
Likewise, businesses that hope to spark engagement within their companies have to examine innovation from a perspective outside of hierarchy with the acceptance that all have something to contribute in the process and can surely add something or introduce something that can contribute towards the improvement of an organisation.
image credit: new latina.net
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Lola Olson is a freelance writer who creates content, manages social media, and advises on marketing strategies, working with Wazoku, Find Invest Grow, Pink Therapy, and several other organisations.