Shenzhen the world's leading hardware R&D location... whats it tells us about education.

I saw a great documentary last night at metta in HK about Shenzhen and its new role in the world.

The documentary examines the unique manufacturing ecosystem that has emerged, gaining access to the world’s leading hardware-prototyping culture whilst challenging misconceptions from the west. The film looks at how the evolution of “Shanzhai” – or copycat manufacturing – has transformed traditional models of business, distribution and innovation, and asks what the rest of the world can learn from this so-called “Silicon Valley of hardware". Most compellingly, Duncan Turner of HAX (featured in the film, HAX is the world's first and largest hardware accelerator) and Bunnie Huang (narrator of this Wired documentary and world-renowned hacker and researcher) were on hand to engage in a lively Q&A around hardware, HK vs Shenzhen, and more.

What is interesting from an educational perspective is how fast and innovate this area has become, why is this and how does this happen. The only things I can draw from the film is the deep entrepreneurial drive in the people there, the concept that in effect copying is sharing so to keep ahead you have to keep adapting and inventing at speed. Everything you need to make this happen is in Shenzhen, probably nowhere else in the world like it, or will be for at least the next 15 years.

So this difference comes from the mindset of "can do", ok to fail, try again, learn from each failure, each failure is a stepping stone to something better, collaborate with others all the time, face new challenges, overcome them, feel motivated to do more, live in "the flow". Maybe this is the educational culture and model we need in schools.

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