Solving unimagined problems takes creative thinking

tities can’t contain today’s problems. Everything from the financial meltdown of 2008-09 to the Greek debt crisis to the recent oil spill in the Gulf Coast makes us feel that the civilized world’s abilities to contain big challenges are shrinking.
What has happened in the past few decades that created this condition of helplessness in the West, and particularly in America? It looks like the younger generation is focusing on issues that are secondary in nature. Yes, we need to think long-term. However, this message becomes superficial when we are not preparing ourselves with the necessary tools to solve the problems at hand and in the future.

The younger generation understands the impact of globalization but not in the way it needs to be understood. Our policy makers (politicians, business leaders and, of course, the intellectuals) are in a dilemma.
We need to redesign our thinking processes. Formal education is necessary, but is not sufficient for addressing the world’s problems. Our narrow vision of the world narrows our ability to lead it. We act like a frog in a well that thinks the size of the sky is as big as the opening of well. We may be good, but “good” os now the enemy of our best.
Americans use orthodox solution for unorthodox problems. In every generation, we come up with the new calls for solving the tribulations of our time. The standard answer is that we have to come up with creative ideas for solving previously unimagined problem.

The world transforms faster than we think. To keep up with changes, we need to be well informed. The nation/state concept is not going to work. There is no Pax Americana or Pax China, but Pax Globana.
Young people need to read everything and hone their problem-solving abilities. Worldly issues are the issues of our time – education, housing, health care, and decent living for everyone.

We need to think about each other, support each other. Students (graduating and non-graduating) need to prepare for an uncertain future. They need to dream big time, which is an entitlement of being young.

Dr. Nasir Ahmed is a professor of public administration in the GSU Political Science Department.