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How Do You Cultivate an Innovative Mindset? Invest in Education.

By John Sampson

How Do You Cultivate an Innovative Mindset? Invest in Education.

By John Sampson

Published 12-23-22

Submitted by DOW

Summary:

The challenges facing our local and global communities are complex and interconnected, and we know solutions to these challenges will require ideas fueled by creative innovators.

Imagine Better by investing in Education

As we live through the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), we are experiencing social and technological change at an exponential pace. At the same time, complex challenges such as climate change and inequities require us to rethink how we can do more – as a Company, as a society and individually. We see an opportunity to continue to imagine better with our Global Citizenship partners by promoting innovation, creativity and problem-solving.

A global improvement in students’ collaborative problem-solving capacity to the average level of today’s top 10 scoring countries could add an additional $2.54 trillion in increased productivity to the global economy. *

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Students experience a 2022 Creators Wanted event in Texas alongside Dow employee volunteers.

Driving awareness of manufacturing careers and ensuring equitable opportunities

This year, we celebrate 125 years as a Company. It is a moment of reflection, but also inspires us to look ahead to imagine how we can capitalize on decades of expertise and experience. We see the future as an opportunity to execute our plan to decarbonize our business and grow value while accelerating our sustainability investments. To do this, we know we need to invest in the future manufacturing workforce. Allow me to share some examples of how we do this.

For years, Dow has been a supporter of Manufacturing Day and we are proud to also be the National Legacy Sponsor of the Creators Wanted campaign, another initiative led by the U.S. National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and The Manufacturing Institute (MI) that aims to educate, inspire and empower the next generation to be creators, a modern view of what a career in manufacturing could look like.

In Bahía Blanca, Argentina, home of our largest facility in Latin America, the partnership with Universidad Tecnológica Nacional resulted in the Buen Trabajo (Good Jobs) program, which has been helping improve employability in the region for more than 15 years by providing technical and human skills training for vulnerable people. Recent efforts focused on improving gender diversity in the trades by raising the enrollment rates of women for courses that were historically associated with men.

Chinese winning team with flag

Cultivating an innovative mindset

The 4IR is changing how we work and creating more connections between people, machines and digital technology. That’s why we focus on supporting partners that cultivate an innovative mindset and prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow through Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning that is accessible to all students.

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Students from Brazoria County, Texas, participate in Girls in STEM Day March 2022.

Engaging for impact

One thing stands out throughout our worldwide partnerships that span many cultures: Team Dow's ability and willingness to be deeply engaged in volunteering to support equitable education in their communities. Whether it's helping,

  • A class with a science experiment;
  • Mentoring a FIRST® Robotics team to ensure the team focuses on inclusion;
  • Or, hosting a Girls in STEM Day for more than 300 middle school students to foster gender diversity and inclusion in STEM.

It makes me really proud to see that thousands of our employees dedicate their time and resources to help tomorrow's innovators thrive, cultivate innovative mindsets and see future opportunities.

Because we recognize the challenges facing our local and global communities are complex and interconnected, and we know solutions to these challenges will require collaboration based on shared ideas that are fueled by creative innovators from all over the globe. Investing in education is not just imagining better: it is acting upon it to make sure that a bright future comes to life.

John Sampson, Senior Vice President, Operations, Manufacturing and Engineering

*World Economic Forum’s report on Catalysing Education 4.0: Investing in the Future of Learning for a Human Centric Recovery.

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