Can a 3-year-old come up with an IDEA that could change the world?

In January at The Arcadia Preparatory Entrepreneurship community workshop, I was asked the question by a journalist, “Shouldn’t a 3-year-old be playing rather than learning about entrepreneurship?” My response was simple, “They are playing, they are playing with their imagination.” Since then, I haven’t changed my opinion that our workshops, even with children the age of 3, are a superb opportunity to play with one’s imagination and begin to unlock the entrepreneurial spirit in every child. However, it leads me to a question I asked myself, “Could a 3-year-old actually come up with an IDEA which could potentially change the world?”

I decided to ask my twitter following last week this question, so far 1,568 people have taken part in my poll, with 61% saying YES and 39% of people saying NO to the above question. Unfortunately, I can’t see the breakdown of whether or not those saying YES were majority parents or whether or not those saying NO were not parents or had much exposure or time with a 3-year-old. However, the majority were in favour of this idea that a 3-year-old could come up with an idea that could change the world and I certainly agree.

So why is this the case? Why can someone who has only been on this planet for 3 years come up with an IDEA that could change the world? To answer that question, I feel we need to ask the question “What does it take to come up with an IDEA that could change the world?”

In my opinion, it takes a sense of naivety, pureness and freshness at how you look at the world. To not immediately think of the barriers, but the possibilities. To not think about the money needed, but the impact of the idea. To not think about ‘how stupid they might sound’ when they share their idea, but the proudness that they’ve come up with it. As we grow up, boundaries, barriers and the concern of sounding silly, unfortunately, do creep into one’s mindset and as a result, limits majority of the people’s thinking. A 3-year-old doesn’t think like this, a 3-year-old doesn’t care and therefore he/she is probably the best person in the world to come up with an IDEA that could change the world.

The conclusion to my question is, therefore, YES and the evidence will be in the discussions you have with your children and when you ask them to elaborate on their ideas. Even from the age of 3, I challenge you to challenge them on issues you see in the world and what ideas they have to address them. I challenge you to think like a 3-year-old and get carried away with your child as they come up with crazy ideas, and ideas, if we were to drop all barriers and obstacles could actually happen. The naivety, pureness and freshness of a 3-year-old’s mind is something we should all embrace, enjoy and listen to because you never know, the next mumble, short sentence or even poster they draw could be articulating an idea that could change the world.

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