SA 044: Don Wettrick, on Building Young Entrepreneurs and Innovators

building young entrepreneurs

In this episode, I talk to Don Wettrick about innovation, the important role of failure and leaning into adversity, and what that means to innovation, creativity and collaboration. We also talk about adversity in the classroom and why it needs to become a more important part of education.

Guest Bio:

Don Wettrick is an Innovation Specialist at Noblesville High School, just outside Indianapolis, IN. He is the author of “Pure Genius: Building a Culture of Innovation and Taking 20% Time to the Next Level”. Wettrick has worked as a middle school and high school teacher; educational and innovation consultant; and educational speaker. Don is passionate about helping students find their educational opportunities and providing them with the digital tools they need to give them a competitive edge.

Don has lectured across the US and Europe about collaboration, social media use, and work environments that enable innovation. He also hosts an internet radio program, InnovatED, for the BAM! Radio Network. Most importantly Don works with educators and students to bring innovation and collaborative skills into education.


Some Questions We Ask:

What You’ll Learn In This Episode:

  • The 20% time model in schools
    • I think it’s why there’s so much depression in the world. We’re looking to what everybody else is doing. And we’re not allowing our kids to follow and blaze their own trail.

  • What he learned in his research on entrepreneurship in schools
    • We bemoan the whole “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Teachers know a lot of people. Why don’t we put that to power?

  • The one small skill that is fundamental in being an entrepreneur and driving towards innovation
    • Encouraging your kids to network… I see social media as the game changer for kids.

    • Innovators don’t get caught up in CNN crap. When they hear people complain about something, they go, “Oh my gosh, there’s a problem to solve.”

  • How to cultivate a great learning environment at home


Youtube: NHS Innovation Class:


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