A study from Wellington’s innovation hub, Creative HQ has found 96 per cent of Generation Z New Zealanders believe innovation should be taught in schools.
The study found that 89 per cent of respondents believe innovation to be crucial to making the world around them better, with that number rising to 94 per cent when asked about the role of innovation in responding to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
New Zealand has a culture of innovation but it's never been taught in schools as a subject - it’s something the next generation of entrepreneurs want changed.
"If students are given the tools of being able to create their own business or problem-solve things that we have in New Zealand, it will bring about such a better future for our country," says business owner Lillie Brewer.
Creative HQ has studied Generation Z’s attitude to innovation in the Covid era.
Its global survey found 96 per cent want innovation taught in schools and 94 per cent say it's crucial for responding to the pandemic.
Dr Colin Kennedy, Head of the School of Innovation at Wellington-based innovation hub Creative HQ, conducted a study of 150 Gen Z (aged 12-24) respondents in 20 countries across the globe to understand Gen Z attitudes to innovation.
“The future of work has become even muddier than it was before this, so is innovation is something they can hold on to, to do a little bit of castle building, to give them a little bit of hope and build back that confidence,” he says.
Brewer has turned her interests into a business - the 20-year-old ditched university after Covid left her feeling stuck.
"Not enjoying online learning or where I saw the trajectory of my life going, so I think it was a big motivator to be, like ‘hey I want to live a happy life’," she says.
Stories like Mark Zuckerberg founding Facebook at 19-years-old might inspire some but research shows 45 is in fact the average age of successful tech entrepreneurs.
“Older people have more access to social capital, human capital, financial capital, so how do we build a bridge so young people have access to that so it's not just this dream?” Kennedy asks.
Teaching innovation, he suggests, might well be the start.