While I love Pitch-a-Kid, I am more in love with the challenge of teaching children problem-solving skills in a fun and entertaining way. The best kind of learning can occur when you don’t even realize you are learning. And kids do this naturally by asking lots of questions because they don’t have any preconceived baggage of how things “should be.” And they are fearless, honest, and unfiltered. It also benefits the entrepreneurs by helping them refine their message by communicating more effectively.
As a Gen-Xer, I believe we need to pass along critical thinking and problem-solving skills to the next generation from our experience before mobile phones, and the internet became the norm. Before Siri and Alexa. We remember something called a card catalog with the now strange headings of an author, subject, and title. We had to do some heavy lifting for our term papers to find the right data, quote, or graphic. We remember typewriters and trying to figure out the right spacing for notations and references. We grew up on paper NPV discount tables (for my MBA kin). We understand old school marketing – the four Ps – product, price, place, promotion. We cut our teeth on old school only to be the generation applying these learnings to build the likes of Google, Telsa, Kiva, Amazon, Eventbrite, and TOMS – all part of the new school. We learned a bit of grit and “stick-to-it-iveness” along the way. That one foot in old school methodology gives us an advantage along with an obligation. We need to pass on valuable problem-solving skills and grit which entrepreneurs naturally possess. Entrepreneurs are some of the best problems solvers in the world, and we have them in droves in every city in every state in every country around the world. Pitch-a-Kid exposes kids to real world problem solvers and allows them to learn by asking questions.
By putting kids front and center with entrepreneurs it provides a glimpse into different and fascinating careers while learning through inquiry what entrepreneurs are doing to solve problems in health, education, transportation, finance, and a host of other industries within our communities. And what they are overcoming with perseverance to achieve their goals. They can be non-profit, for-profit, B-Corp, or C-Corp. I know it is paramount in our ever-increasing complex world for kids to get off on the right foot so they can have the confidence and skills to thrive in the future.
We owe it to ourselves to get kids thinking differently at an early age to make sure they can solve the problems of their generation with entrepreneurial zeal. And undoubtedly, they will face some incredibly complex and hairy problems on a global scale in the future. We can show them how ordinary entrepreneurs are doing extraordinary things to make a difference while embracing their purpose and passion. Pitch-a-Kid is one small piece helping solve the larger challenge of getting kids the critical thinking skills necessary to take on the world. I love Pitch-a-Kid, but I love this challenge more.