We believe that innovation is critical to society’s wellbeing. Over the last two centuries, innovation in science, technology, and business has enabled humanity to rise from abject poverty, double its life expectancy, live fuller and happier lives, protect the environment, and transition to national wealth creation from a process driven by violence and war into a process powered by peaceful commerce.
The United States is an amazing innovation powerhouse. Although its traditional education system is often a subject of ridicule, our country has been able to innovate itself into a prosperous global power. Its innovation engine is powered by a culture of freedom, meritocracy, and entrepreneurship.
Innovation is driven by gifted individuals who have creative new ideas and the ability to execute on them. These talented individuals flourish in a culture that encourages them to follow their own passions, harness their own unique talents, make their own decisions, and follow their own paths.
To innovate means to do things differently than they have been done before. We believe an innovator should always challenge the status quo and look for new ways to think about the real needs of people and markets, as well as how to fulfill those needs. An innovative mind must always question consensus, authority, and common perceptions. It will always investigate if there are alternative ways to look at any problem and if new data can be used to invalidate old concepts and raise new ideas and solutions.
We instill in our students the courage to challenge the status quo. We want them to dare to go against the grain, to take risks. We expect them to learn to question everything and take nothing for granted. We ask them to do research, collect data, validate assumptions, evaluate alternative approaches, and test their hypotheses. We do this repeatedly to enable our students to build a habit of looking at the world with a questioning fresh look every day.
We believe in the power of the scientific method as the best way to drive innovation and optimized outcomes. We will teach our students to look objectively at any given problem and regularly use research and data to test their assumptions.
The noble laureate Richard Feynman famously said that “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts”. We will teach our students to look and analyze raw data themselves and validate their own hypotheses instead of accepting experts’ authority. By learning to research and think for themselves, new ideas will emerge.