In late May, I had the good fortune to lead a team of volunteers who captured images of some of the most creative kids in the world. During out  “volcations”, it was our job is to bring the story of Destination ImagiNation Global Finals to the hundreds of thousands of people from around the world who want to see their hometown teams on a Global stage. Actually, 8,000 kids, from kindergarten through college. And some 30,000 photos.

Destination ImagiNation Opening Ceremony Mostly organized through schools and non-profit organizations in over 30 countries, student teams spend months on one of several Challenges, each with a different focus. While they are all rooted in national learning standards, individual challenges cover disciplines including mechanical/technical design, science, the arts, improvisation or structural/architectural design. There’s even a Challenge with a positive social outcome.

While I am a consultant to the organization’s social media presence, I have also been  a volunteer Team Manager with teams for ten years. Even as a Board Member, I have seen kids do amazing things. These team members – kids –  who may or may not like each other learn to leverage their creativity, develop problem solving skills, organizational skills and situational management .

The key: They have to develop every idea, execute it themselves without any outside interference. During this impossible-to-describe-process, I became a witness to the birth of innovation. Unless you witness it and know what you are looking at, it appears transparent and invisible.

Read the business takeaways from this event  in my column.

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