An organization built around the idea of inspiring young people to be science and technology leaders, FIRST, offers students an amazing learning opportunity. But, it also offers a valuable lesson on the pathway to successful innovation far beyond science and technology.
The foundation of FIRST is a concept called Gracious Professionalism. It’s an ideal that suggests fierce competition and mutual gains are not separate notions. FIRST also teaches kids Coopertition®, defined as displaying unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition. Coopertition means competing always, but assisting and enabling others when you can, leading to unprecedented innovation.