We started today, day two of our business/npo plan competition, by thinking about originality. I wanted to try and get to when this idea is helpful and when it’s counterproductive.

So we defined it together and then worked to identify all the different meanings that might be relevant for our two projects.

Some important ideas emerged…

DW mentioned that when you’re approaching something in an original way there doesn’t appear to be any limits. I tried to let this idea expand a bit before weighing in. This is the great part about working with adolescents — it’s almost all new to them and they have no internal voice declaring certain things impossible. But it’s also the hard part because you’re not going to learn how to design, build, and launch a satellite in twelve weeks.

KH and others described several situations where originality won’t serve you well. Trying out verse won’t serve you well on a placement test. Writing certain kinds of forms calls for precise language. KH also noted that originality is necessary to avoid plagiarism.

Coda: This is one of those activities we do in circle with the intention of supporting all of the project work. Originality matters when proposing a new business and in making your own project. The idea of originality can be a limiter or a liberator.

I’m also hoping that this thinking process re-emerges throughout both project blocks. What role should originality play there? (This is the how to glue days together problem.)

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