Call it overly bold I continue to believe that but one of the great benefits of policy simulations such as Model UN, Model EU, and crisis simulations are the opportunity to break through exiting limits and constraints–the kinds that existing research, experts, and “reality” impose–to find creative solutions. (Note that this implies you know where the benchmarks lie; its not just making this stuff up.) The latest issue of Foreign Policy’s top Global Thinkers is out with the selfsame observation:
All the above may seem obvious to you. But if genius is the ability to recognize the obvious before anyone else, isn’t stupidity therefore the failure to do anything about the obvious even after everyone with a functioning brain has come to see it as readily apparent? The point is: Big challenges demand big ideas. New challenges demand new thinking. And right now, the big new challenges of our time — from the rise of new powers and the changing geopolitical landscape to shifting global resource demands — require a kind of thought they are clearly not getting. Instead, we have a policymaking apparatus that discourages creativity.
That’s why lists like our Global Thinkers are important. Flawed though they may be, they highlight and celebrate people who are willing to think outside the box. They reward the kind of creative rigor that is cheered in artists and entrepreneurs but all too often is utterly missing in our policymakers. And who knows, with a little bit of luck, they may even get a few more of those policymakers to thinking themselves.