Creating Innovators

  • by Tony Wagner
  • Narrated by Holter Graham
  • 9 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In this groundbreaking book, education expert Tony Wagner provides a powerful rationale for developing an innovation-driven economy. He explores what parents, teachers, and employers must do to develop the capacities of young people to become innovators. In profiling compelling young American innovators - such as Kirk Phelps, product manager for Apple’s first iPhone, and Jodie Wu, who founded a company that builds bicycle-powered maize shellers in Tanzania - Wagner reveals how the adults in their lives nurtured their creativity and sparked their imaginations, while teaching them to learn from failures and persevere. Wagner identifies a pattern: a childhood of creative play leads to deep-seated interests, which in adolescence and adulthood blossom into a deeper purpose for career and life goals. Play, passion, and purpose: These are the forces that drive young innovators.
Wagner explains how we can apply this knowledge as educators and what parents can do to compensate for poor schooling. He takes listeners into the most forward-thinking schools, colleges, and workplaces in the country, where teachers and employers are developing cultures of innovation based on collaboration, interdisciplinary problem-solving, and intrinsic motivation. The result is a timely, provocative, and inspiring manifesto that will change how we look at our schools and workplaces, and provide us with a road map for creating the change-makers of tomorrow.


What the Critics Say

"In this fascinating book, Tony Wagner addresses one of our most urgent questions: How do we create the next generation of innovators? By telling the stories of young creators, and by taking us inside cutting-edge programs, Wagner shows that the answer isn't to double-down on outmoded, formulaic solutions - but to embrace the principles of play, passion, and purpose. Creating Innovators is important reading for anyone concerned about the future." (Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind)
"In the equation of world success, superior innovation is the only factor that can keep America #1. Two passionate citizens, innovators in their own right, have produced a compelling prescription for our time. Read it, watch it, and spread the word." (Mitch Daniels, Governor, State of Indiana)
"To combat the competitive threat from economies like Brazil, Russia, India and China, we must develop empowered entrepreneurs and innovators. Creating Innovators is a masterful work that shows us how. Tony Wagner's case studies reveal more about these fine innovators than he may have realized. World leaders, business executives, educators, policy makers and parents, take note!" (Dr. Annmarie Neal Founder, Center for Leadership Innovation and former Chief Talent Officer, Cisco Systems)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fabulous information!

What will the challenges be for our children as they assimilate into today's rapidly changing workforce? What skills and knowledge will help them succeed? What are other countries doing successfully to prepare their young people for their future? What can we do as parents, teachers, educators, and employers to encourage our children to find their "American Dream"? The author lays out ideas that are replicatable for those interested. As a homeschooling mom of 2 young girls, I'm excited to learn about what innovative ways of thinking will most benefit my my children in the future.
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- RafikiPaka

Read, Don't Act

What did you love best about Creating Innovators?

Very revealing hearing the backgrounds of so many of today's innovators. Many implications for parents and schools alike.

Who was your favorite character and why?


What didn’t you like about Holter Graham’s performance?

Ridiculous, horrible attempts at "acting" like each person described in the book, male or female, American, European, African, etc. It is actually very, very distracting and annoying. Just R-E-A-D the story! I would be very, very hesitant to purchase any further audio books that Graham had recorded.

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- Randy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-17-2012
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio