Karen Osborne

I love cycling. I love the feeling of sailing down the road with the wind against my face, clattering down trails where cars can’t follow and exploring my neighborhood at my own pace.

What I don’t like is the ugly and uncomfortable bike helmet I have to wear, but I wear it anyway, because the last thing I want to do is to die in a horrific accident.

If there was another option, would I go for it? You bet. That’s why my heart nearly stopped when I discovered that the Hovding helmet existed. It is a helmet that deploys something similar to an airbag when it senses that the cyclist who wears it is heading into an accident. It does this through extremely complicated mathematical algorithms and special sensors that took years, thousands of tests and a lot of money to develop.

Its designers set out to make a bike helmet that would keep cyclists safe and keep them looking sporty at the same time. Successful inventors and entrepreneurs, such as the ones who came up with this helmet, are seen as modern heroes. Often young inventors develop similar great ideas that change the world.

They begin by asking questions such as “Why?” and “Why not?” and “How?” “Why not create an invisible bike helmet? How would we go about doing that?”

Asking those questions was the hallmark of every great inventor, entrepreneur and artist. They were people filled with inspiration. They asked questions. They saw a need they wanted to fill.

Steve Jobs asked: Why not put the Internet into a phone? Mark Zuckerberg asked: Why not put our student directory online?

The next question they asked was: “OK, how do I do it?”

I can’t recommend quitting school, like Jobs or Zuckerberg did. However, they were enrolled in college for a little while, where they gleaned information that made their inventions possible.

In The Guardian newspaper, British writer Maggie Philbin said that the next big inventions may come from teenagers, simply because their curious minds and ability to question the world and how it runs lends itself to solving the societal and technological needs and problems that lead to great inventions.

Society pushes forward because of the people who look beyond the surface, climb out of the box and are inspired by the possibilities.

Anyone reading this who has a love for learning has the qualifications to be the next world-changing inventor or hero entrepreneur. They may just need a little inspiration.

But that inspiration won’t find you on its own. You have to go out into the world and look around. You have to ask: “Why are things this way? How can I make them better? How can they be better? What can I do to make life better for the people around me? What do people need? What are their problems? Who can solve those problems?”

The answer to that is really easy: It might be you.