Growing Future Innovators

A new approach to learning programs for young people

In 2009, PICA began working with Edith Cowan University’s Centre for Research in Entertainment, the Arts, Technology, Education and Communications (CREATEC) with assistance from the Fogarty Foundation, on a research project called Growing Future Innovators.

Growing Future Innovators is a project that examines how contemporary arts organisations, like PICA, can deliver ‘next practice’ schools learning programs that encourage and promote innovation – and not just in the arts but a range of other disciplines.

The Federal Government and the Australian business sector are currently grappling with how we, as a nation, can build a creative workforce, adept at risk-taking and problem solving and with a desire for life-long learning.


The types of contemporary arts practices that organisations like PICA deal with on a daily basis are inherently innovative, often cross-disciplinary and frequently challenge us to think outside the square. They provide a potent medium through which to educate young people.

The Growing Future Innovators scoping study includes a detailed review of local, national and international policy relating to arts, education and innovation and case studies of innovative and best practice schools education programs delivered by eighteen contemporary arts organisations in Australia and the UK. It also contains a set of recommendations for how contemporary arts organisations can work with schools to educate for innovation.

Download Scoping Document Here

Download Concise Document Here


Together with education sector consultation it informed the development and delivery of a three-year pilot program by PICA from 2011 – 2013 in partnership with a number of metropolitan and regional primary and secondary schools in WA.

This pilot program allowed primary and secondary school students to directly engage with professional artists and the latest in contemporary arts practices (including those in dance, theatre, music, visual arts and new media). It was a carefully monitored program with the evaluation of its impact and effectiveness revealing that it allowed young people and their teachers to cultivate the values and culture of innovation and develop high levels of creativity, self-efficacy, energy, risk-propensity, leadership, resilience, tolerance of ambiguity, intuition and questioning.