Innovation and entrepreneurship in Iraq are the backbones of modernism and the key to improving a country’s infrastructure, quality of life, and future. Even though Iraq and Kurdistan are in great demands and have incredible space for innovation, but we don’t see it happening as much as we would like to. This is what Dr. Hemin Latif explained in his TEDx talk titled “How Can Teaching Creativity Support Entrepreneurship?” at the first TEDxNishtiman event in Kurdistan, Iraq.
Dr. Latif, a university lecturer and the executive director at TeraTarget, an IT innovation company, suggests that the school system is the cause of the problem; the problem of the lack of innovation and entrepreneurship personalities. Dr. Latif states that our school systems don’t build or grow creativity in our youth. After finding the root of the problem, Dr. Latif decided to fix it, at least on some levels. He prepared a new course on creativity and innovation in the university that he teaches.
After overcoming obstacles, Dr. Latif finalized and provided the course on creativity. There were concerns about the course’s success and whether the course is going to attract enough interest among the students in the course’s topics. However, the course exceeded everyone’s expectation. The number of students that registered for that course were six times more than the expected number.
This huge number of students means people, especially the youth here, desire to learn and explore creativity. “We teach people physics, and then we expect them to apply it, we teach them law, and then we expect them to apply it.” Dr. Latif continued, “The same goes for creativity, we have to teach creativity before we expect it from people. We cannot demand creativity without teaching creativity!”
Iraq is lacking innovators and entrepreneurs, even though there are opportunities for these people to thrive and make changes. Since Iraq and Kurdistan, too, are “developing” countries and have shortages in services, innovators and entrepreneurs are needed to fill these spaces.
These people can reshape and reintroduce communities in a new image. An actual image that will make it easier for the future generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to establish themselves. To achieve this, first, we have to start with the educational system and remake it in a way that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship. Dr. Latif ends his talk by stating his dream of having every student in the country taking a course on creativity and having every institution in the country appointing a vice president for creativity and innovation.
TEDx talk of Dr. Latif about How Can Teaching Creativity Support Entrepreneurship in Iraq?