Outside The Box 2nd April 2017

lawrence jones ukfast princes trust‘Why?’ That’s a question that I must hear about a hundred times every single day having four daughters aged from little baby Summer to my fast-growing teenage daughter Tegan. And I am never short of amazed at the questions they pose when talking about what adults just accept as ‘the norm’.

Children have an extraordinary ability to see the world differently, rather than simply accepting it the way that it is. As we grow, we become increasingly confined in ‘the box’ and have to encourage the think outside of it! Why is that?

I was reminded again of the wisdom of young people at an event with the Prince’s Trust this week. Joining a judging panel at the Mosaic Enterprise North West finals alongside Sir Peter Fahy, teams of students from across the region pitched their business ideas and we, the judges, selected a finalist for the national final of the competition.

I was completely blown away by the ideas, the organisation and the confidence of the pitches. Instead of being confined in the idea of just being kids, these young people showed real entrepreneurial spark. Ultimately, age is just a number. It never stopped me! As a child I would double or triple my pocket money by reselling sweets and treats during break times to children for a small profit.

I was particularly impressed by the team from Altrincham Grammar who pitched a cyberbullying tackling app. So much so, that I am already speaking with the school to see how I can help them bring this idea to life.

The team spotted a real issue that is affecting people their age and found a solution. it’s incredible and I am sure that you will be hearing more about them and their project in months to come.

As a creative through and through, one of my biggest frustrations in life is seeing adults who lose their inner child and their imagination along with it. Imagination helps you to dream big, to take a chance and to innovate.

It is easy to spot the people who have grown up a little too much – I just have to tell them my vision for UKFast Campus, with a slide and a pond and kennels, their facial expression soon gives the game away! Does being an adult mean you have to be serious all the time?

Creativity is borne from fun and, often, a bit of chaos and disruption. There’s nothing better than time with my kids to spark all of the above.

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