Curiosity will transform agriculture

By Jonathan Chuah

I have always been taught by my mother to have a curious mind.

To find meaning, knowledge, and adventure in everyday life. To question things around me and what I could do to make life better.

When I was 16, mom questioned me, “how do I use a computer?”

I spent half an hour teaching her the basics of computing and navigating around Windows.

She soon learnt how use Word, save files, connect her computer to the Internet, and open an email account.

I was so proud to be her son!

The rapid trend of technological advancements has transformed almost every facet of our lives.

While the generation Y-ers like me have no problem connecting to the digital world, the older generation sometimes find it hard to keep up with the evolving face of technology.

What happens to curiosity? That willingness to learn?

As babies, we were born with limitless curiosity. Think about all the things the little ones touch, grab, climb on, stare at, and put in their mouths.

But for many, as they grow older, their curiosity is dulled.

And by the time they reach adulthood, they are merely going through the necessary actions to make it through each day, instead of actively trying to understand the world around them.

The world needs more curious people.

Think Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, Marie Curie. They're all who we know that are extraordinarily successful people who have impacted global change.

But they're just like you and me, ordinary people who are born into the same world full of challenges and hardships.

These innovators possess a powerful mind that is curious and feeds on knowledge in order to survive.

Businesses like AbacusBio also have talented scientists and engineers with the expertise to create change.

But we can't do it ourselves.

We need people who're curious to come to us and say, “look... I’ve got an idea, how can we achieve it?”

Organisational psychologist and professor Adam Grant at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania found that the type of Internet browser that people use can easily predict job performance and commitment.

On average, Firefox and Chrome users significantly outperform Internet Explorer and Safari users.

The reason is that both Internet Explorer and Safari come pre-installed on your computers and people accepted the default option.

However to use Firefox or Chrome, people had to doubt the default and wonder if there is a different option out there, be a little resourceful, and download a new browser.

It's about being curious. To think of ways to make our lives better – and more successful.

If we all – as stakeholders across the value chain – start developing an enthusiastic sense of curiosity, and work together, we are two steps towards making New Zealand an exceptional brand for food production.