Make Because You Can!
Have you ever seen a child play, build something with blocks, then tear it apart and build something new again? A child learns by exploring the unfamiliar, trying new things, curiously examining the world around, often from different perspectives. This innate desire to seek out new experiences, to tinker, explore, create, destroy and remake, is a defining trait of all children. Fast forward 10 years, the acquisition of language has in most cases replaced a child's natural learning through creative expression with language based inquiry. Most education systems emphasize the acquisition of knowledge through rote learning and textbooks, rather than curious, hands-on explorations. Another 10 years later, our students have successfully acquired considerable knowledge but somehow buried that natural desire to create, and by now most believe that making is a prerogative of the select few.
The ability to create, to make physical and digital artifacts, is critical to our future. The future is, and always has been, shaped by those who can make. Indeed, human evolution over the centuries has been driven by inventions produced by ordinary people. Groundbreaking inventions, like the first airplane, the personal computer, the bicycle, the automobile, the light bulb, the printing press, all evolved out of projects led by tinkerers. And every such invention gave birth to a whole new breed of innovators who wanted to build on, and improve the original. In just the last 10 years, we have seen great advances such as smartphones, electric and self-driving cars, new forms of delivering energy, sensors and more. All these efforts to improve human life and make things better were led by people just like us.
Have you ever looked at a toothpaste and struggled to take the last bit out? Annoying, right? Surely among us are many people who could redesign that. And many more who could reimagine a car, or make a new product to support farmers, teachers or the disabled or to help all of us learn something new? Making new things to make things better for all of us is not just the privilege of a chosen few; it is as much our responsibility to be a part of collectively shaping the future. We have to ask ourselves, do we want to spend our lives being just consumers of things that others make, or do we want to be creators? Steve Jobs once said: "... Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use".
To spark this spirit of creativity and inspire makers, we launched the inaugural Infy Maker Awards in the US through Infosys Foundation USA in September last year. We were truly amazed to see many unique and inspiring projects such as the Intelligent electric shoes, the robotic trash sorter, the Braille tutor and many others. And now we are thrilled to announce that Infy Makers is going global with its next launch in India this month. We look forward to celebrating makers across India and inspiring the next generation of makers and inventors across the world.
If you have an idea, now would be a great time to see it to completion. If you have it ready, bring it on and share it with us. And if you have not created in a while, let the child within you take over. Awaken that creative urge that is innate to all of us, feed your curiosity and immerse yourself into the wondrous world of making and of shaping the future. Let's make!
This blog post was originally published on Medium on February 11, 2016.