An innovative nation


Singapore have firmly placed innovation on the public agenda by putting innovation on the school curriculum. But innovation requires more than a structural change, according to MindLab’s boss, Thomas Prehn, who has visited the country to give presentations to ministers, teachers and students.


The Ministry of Education in Singapore wants to create innovative citizens through education. As it is now, they educate top candidates, who are skilled task solvers, but lack creative and independent qualities. Therefore, did MindLab’s boss, Thomas Prehn, among other things, visit the Singaporean Ministry of Education to talk with the country’s top leaders on how to support innovation in the public sector.


All schools in Singapore are part of the Ministry of Education, so they have enormous clout with their decisions. It requires, however, that they manage to create space and learning for innovative courage both among their teachers and the pupils.

Thomas Prehn, chef hos MindLab


Therefore, more innovation is needed on the school curriculum to educate candidates with the right qualities. In that context, a visit to the graduating students at Cedar Girls’ Secondary School was also part of Thomas’ program. The school has made social innovation a recurring theme in the teaching of the students. In addition to giving a presentation, Thomas was allowed to see and provide feedback on the students’ prototypes of their concepts of social innovation.

Whether Singapore manages to create more innovation, time will tell. To be successful, it takes much more than a change of subjects and the school curriculums. It is about breaking the fear of failing, and letting the students explore opportunities on their own.