innovation | February 28, 2013

Innovation Speaker John Maeda Says Art Can Help The Economy [VIDEO]

"Why does STEAM policy matter?" asks innovation speaker John Maeda of his quest to turn the current curriculem of STEM courses (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) into STEAM courses (the A representing the addition of arts). The answer is simple. "It is how America will reign competitive and remain the leader in the 21st century." In a recent panel presentation, the President of Rhode Island School of Design explained that innovation is the key component to kick-starting our economy and becoming more competitive in the global market. To do that, "we need to inject art into this innovation dialogue to help us remain competitive," he says. When you add art courses into a school's curriculum, it produces students who have broad and innovative ways of thinking—something that is desperately needed in the workforce today.

As Maeda explains, the incorporation of the arts expands the way that students think as well as the way that they learn. Thanks to his efforts, the Congressional STEAM Caucus has recently been launched—making this new way of learning a government priority. Incorporating arts and design into these core learning strategies will help shape the innovators of the future and sculpt better and more effective leaders. Having experience as an artist, designer, and educator, Maeda has seen the potential that a more interdisciplinary learning environment can have firsthand. In his keynotes, he promotes the exciting and important ways that people are rethinking the use of art and design—and what we all stand to gain from that changing mindset.