Saturday, December 10, 2005

Scientists debate culture's role in creativity

[9 December 2005 - The Daily Yomiuri - Japan] In trying to imagine how the 21st century will evolve and how the problems that will arise can be overcome, it is perhaps best to listen to the wisdom and experience of experts from various fields. This was the subject of the 17th annual forum 'Creativity in the 21st Century with Nobel Laureates,' which brought together six laureates in science. The series was jointly organized by The Yomiuri Shimbun and NHK. The forum series began in Kanazawa on Nov. 8 with a session on science and was followed by further science sessions in Tokyo on Nov. 17 and Kyoto on Nov. 26. More

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Design Centres: Emphasis is on fostering innovation and creativity

[6 December 2005 - The Independent (UK)] A national network of 'innovation centres' is to be set up to help foster new design talent. It will include a showcase for British design in London. But there will be also reforms to tax credits for research and development to encourage early and innovative use of design in manufacturing and industry. ... The Chancellor said: "The design of new products and services is now such an important sector that we propose a network of creativity and innovation centres - one in each region offering start-up help to new design talent and supported by an expanded national centre in London to showcase British design." The Lighthouse in Glasgow already acts as a design talent showcase. More

Innovation, creativity needed to sustain growth

[6 December 2005 - China Daily] Are local Chinese industries ready to design and innovate, or is it easier and more cost effective just to copy others like other Asian economies are doing? Those were the questions raised by delegates at the 20th China Daily CEO Roundtable meeting held on November 30, 2005. The questions provoked ardent discussion at the "Next Generation Design, Innovation and Creativity for China" meeting, co-hosted by China Daily and the Illinois Institute of Technology. More than 30 CEOs and senior executives from prestigious companies in the design, media, lifestyle, technology, communications, education and legal sectors sat down at the Peninsula Palace Beijing with one objective: to exchange views on China's capacity and challenges in rising to the global stage of design and innovation. Mary Ma, a former national model and now president of her own fashion design company, was among the distinguished delegates that attended the prestigious event. More

Creativity Lab: Where some dreams come true

[6 December 2005 - Taipei Times] Founded last year, the lab answers Taiwan's need as it struggles to move from being simply a manufacturing hub to a creative force in the business world ... Some of us probably had the experience of walking during a heavy downpour and struggling to stay dry in our raincoats while trying to look out for oncoming vehicles through our rain-drenched vision. What if we had a raincoat that is able to sense how heavy the downpour is and glow in different shades of color and varying intensity. This would surely be a good device to catch the attention of passing cars and greatly enhance pedestrian safety. Many single ladies living alone probably find it hard to do their hair at times, because of the constraints of their bathroom mirror. What if we had a bathroom mirror that allowed us to see the back of our torso or even magnified parts of our faces, making it easier for ladies to apply their make-up. These ideas, impractical though they may sound, are totally encouraged at the Creativity Lab (³Ð·N¤¤¤ß), a division under the quasi-official Industrial Technology Research Institute. More

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


[2 December 2005 - PEN Weekly NewsBlast] Ten years ago, resiliency theory was relatively new to the fields of prevention and education. Today, it is at the heart of hundreds of school and community programs that recognize in all young people the capacity to lead healthy, successful lives. The key, as Bonnie Benard reports in this synthesis of a decade and more of resiliency research, is the role that families, schools, and communities play in supporting, and not undermining, this biological drive for normal human development. Of special interest is the evidence that resiliency prevails in many extreme cases. In most studies, the figure seems to average 70 to 75 percent and includes children who were placed in foster care, were members of gangs, were born to teen mothers, were sexually abused, had substance-abusing or mentally ill families, and grew up in poverty. In absolute worst case scenarios, when children experience multiple and persistent risks, still half of them overcome adversity and achieve good developmental outcomes. An understanding of this developmental wisdom and the supporting research, Benard argues, must be integrated into adults’ vision for the youth they work with and communicated to young people themselves. Read sample chapters online.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Not All Innovations Are Equal

[5 December 2005 - HBS Working Knowledge] So many bright ideas fade away at the execution stage—but it doesn’t have to be that way. This excerpt from a new book, 10 Rules for Strategic Innovators, tells how to forge ahead based on four different types of innovation. ... There is no shortage of published ideas on how best to manage innovation. Empower employees. Encourage initiative. Cultivate risk taking. Overcome mindlessness such as, "We do it this way because it has always been done this way." But managers need more than such generic advice because there are many different kinds of innovation, and each requires a profoundly different managerial approach. This book focuses strictly on strategic innovation, which differs sharply from three other categories of innovation:
* Continuous process improvement.
* Process revolutions.
* Product or service innovations.
* Strategic innovations.

Monday, November 14, 2005


[8 November 2005 - Stanford University School of Medicine] Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have shown for the first time that a sample of children who either have or are at high risk for bipolar disorder score higher on a creativity index than healthy children. The findings add to existing evidence that a link exists between mood disorders and creativity. The small study, published in the November issue of the Journal of Psychiatric Research, compared creativity test scores of children of healthy parents with the scores of children of bipolar parents. Children with the bipolar parents—even those who were not bipolar themselves—scored higher than the healthy children. More

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Oliver Sacks speaks on power of creativity

[20 October 2005 - The Dartmouth] Oliver Sacks, the acclaimed author of "Awakenings" and "The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat," spoke to an enthusiastic crowd in Moore Theater Wednesday. The speech, entitled "Creativity and the Brain," was sponsored by the Montgomery Endowment. "There are innumerable sorts of creativity," Sacks said as he listed perceptual, natural, individual and communal creativity, along with "creative driving" and "creative cooking," as examples. Sacks emphasized that creativity provides inspiration to all people. "Creativity is universal," Sacks said. "We all dream, and in dreams we have fantastic adventures unrestrained by reality." More

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Creativity Key to Better Retirement

[14 October 2005 - The Korea Times] Retirement is so often defined negatively and individualistically, as the end of a career and the cessation of work. However, an American specialist on the subject said that retirement can also be a creative time - a period of renewal and rejuvenation. "Most people never fully prepare for this abrupt change. Organizations do not help them. Employees and employers generally do not consider retirement life-planning as an extension of career development," Steve Dahlberg, general manager for the Creative Education Foundation in the United States, said in an interview with The Korea Times. More

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Mary Catherine Bateson comments on creativity, life and improv

[26 June 2005 - Creative Education Foundation's Creative Problem Solving Institute] Anthropologist and author Mary Catherine Bateson wove a rich tapestry of themes about life as an improvisatory art. Her message included:
Practicing improvisation is not an oxymoron. Improvisation -- creativity of many kinds -- is something you learn to do. And it's a kind of coming full circles.

The world is changing so fast that we are all on stage without a script. And it isn't going to help to memorize a script. We're going to have to learn the skills of making it up as we go along.

If you view your life as continuities, you are likely to seek continuities and avoid change. If you look at the discontinuities, you may be likely to move on too quickly.

About fear and the failure of imagination ... you can't prevent something which you can't think about.

It's only when you move to multiple narratives that you begin to see possibilities and get away from thinking things are just going to go on the way they are. That's an essential element of creativity ... alternative ways of understanding; alternative ways of seeing.

Creativity is sparked when cultures meet -- when they meet with open imaginations and full curiosity.

With the demographic changes and the aging population ... there is a group of people who have not yet discovered in the changing currents of time the range of their possibilities.

Education is about making people think for themselves. ... What we tell our children while their minds are open and impressionable ought to be the key for the changes that need to be brought about, and I think at the moment we are moving in the wrong direction.

We all need to work very hard to reinforce those aspects of the educational system that make people open to differences, to alternatives that stretch their imagination.

What thoughts do these quotes spark for you? Or did you hear Bateson's keynote yourself at CPSI 2005? Click the "Post a comment" link below and share your reflections.

Read more reports online about Bateson's keynote and CPSI 2005 in general. Plus, if you missed CPSI 2005 and want to check out materials from some of the programs and sessions, you can do that on the CPSI Web site. Also, you can purchase books by CPSI keynoters and presenters - including Bateson's latest, Willing to Learn - in the online bookstore. Your purchases help support CEF.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Trend-watcher sees moral transformation of capitalism

[3 October 2005 - The Christian Science Monitor] ... People no longer want that spiritual part of themselves to be abandoned when they work and are searching for meaning and morals in the workplace. And corporate leaders now recognize that we live in a technologically based society where, in order to be consistently innovative, a corporation has to draw on the creativity of its employees. Even the old-fashioned business types have to grudgingly agree that we find creativity, inspiration, and innovation within, from that deep spiritual part of ourselves. More

Creative economy: New England's future success may depend on the arts

[2 October 2005 - Foster's Online - New Hampshire] Can New England's creative arts help to sculpt the region's economy for the century? Five years ago, the business-led New England Council, executives from such fields as manufacturing and banking, took a bold step. In a special report, they celebrated the region's growing "creative economy"" They saw that the region's fine arts, music and drama fields were not only growing, but inspiring such other fields of imaginative design as architecture, photography, film and Web design. The resulting 245,000-job sector, they reported, was growing twice as fast as New England's overall economy. More

The Power of Dumb Ideas: The solution to marketing’s current ills is not more creativity. It’s less.

[30 September 2005 - strategy+business - Booz Allen Hamilton] Forget what the advertising gurus say about big ideas and differentiation. The solution to marketing's ills is not more creativity, it's less. A study of 1,300 U.S. companies by Chuck Lucier, senior vice president emeritus at Booz Allen Hamilton, reveals that only four broad ideas, copied again and again across sectors, accounted for 80 percent of the breakout businesses created between 1985 and 1995: power retailing, megabranding, focus/simplify/standardize, and the value chain bypass. The big idea doesn't have to be brand new. In a world overwhelmed by complexity, it's the context that gives dumb ideas their power to galvanize a team, create faith, and build the world's greatest marketing department. More

Nurturing creativity and innovation - Leaders must show the way

[29 September 2005 - TODAY - Singapore] Recent speeches by Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and other ministers have put innovation back into the spotlight. While the research and development emphasis is understandable, innovation cannot be confined to the laboratory or limited to technological advances. In fact, just as important is the ability to turn innovations into viable reality - in other words, commercialisation. That takes creativity too. More

Curiosity and the pleasures of learning: Wanting and liking new information

[September 2005 - Cognition & Emotion] This paper proposes a new theoretical model of curiosity that incorporates the neuroscience of “wanting” and “liking”, which are two systems hypothesised to underlie motivation and affective experience for a broad class of appetites. In developing the new model, the paper discusses empirical and theoretical limitations inherent to drive and optimal arousal theories of curiosity, and evaluates these models in relation to Litman and Jimerson's (2004) recently developed interest/deprivation (I/D) theory of curiosity. A detailed discussion of the I/D model and its relationship to the neuroscience of wanting and liking is provided, and an integrative I/D/wanting/liking model is proposed, with the aim of clarifying the complex nature of curiosity as an emotional‐motivational state, and to shed light on the different ways in which acquiring knowledge can be pleasurable. More

‘Creatives’ are our leaders of the future

[29 September 2005 - Business Day - South Africa] The information age has come — and stayed. Those with the skills for the age have prospered. The last growth curve was driven by business services. Now research points towards a shift to the creatives — the leaders and builders of the future. More

Friday, September 23, 2005

Creativity is the key to economic success

[22 September 2005 - Times Argus] Thanks to its creative people and artsy folks, intellectual centers and funky buildings, the Capital City is an attractive place to live and work. If Montpelier can capitalize on these benefits, it can improve its economy and sustainability, according to organizers and panelists at a forum exploring the "creative economy" held at Union Institute & University's Vermont College Wednesday night. Fostering the creative and the unique can enrich the economy and the quality of life, agreed the approximately 70 participants, both audience members and panelists. ... Representatives from many sectors of the city sat on the panel, including Patty Casey, a singer-songwriter, Sonia Rae, manager of Artisans Hand Craft Gallery; Tom Macleay, CEO of National Life and CEO Richard White of the Community National Bank. ... Rae explained how the creative sector is essential to Vermont's economy. "We feel very strongly that our job, not just as a shop, but as a place where people can gather, is to promote creativity within our community but also educating the public about what we do, what the great people around us are doing, what kind of crafts they're producing," she said. "But if we're exhibiting the work of 130 people, and selling the work of 130 people, that means that we're helping to keep 130 people employed in the state of Vermont." Rae added that Artisans Hand, a downtown store which showcases solely Vermont artists, is proud to be a self-sustaining for-profit venture that doesn't rely on grants. More

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Here, There and Everywhere: Four companies look for creativity beyond the product development lab

[September 2005 - CMO Magazine] When most people think of innovation, their minds likely focus on one of two things: cool new products or whiz-bang technologies. While those areas have certainly yielded success for many a company (and will probably continue to do so), today's strategic marketer is taking a more holistic view of innovation. As marketing becomes more integrated and cross-disciplinary, so too has the idea of what constitutes a marketing innovation. If you think of innovation as anything that yields a fresh idea or a novel approach, then virtually any aspect of marketing becomes rife with possibilities, from how you execute customer research, to where you communicate your message, to whom you're targeting with that message. To illustrate this broadening definition of innovation in marketing, we've assembled a sampling of companies that are leading the way. More

Friday, September 16, 2005

What Does It Mean To Be an Educated Person?

[September 2005 - American Association of School Administrators - Publications - The School Administrator] The task is to draw attention to what is important and ask the central questions that give meaning to teaching and learning. One of the most fundamental questions is: What does it mean to be an educated person? What should a high school graduate be able to do upon graduation? The answer guides instruction. The art of teaching is to challenge and encourage students toward this vision.

A Dozen Ideals: In a good school both teacher and student define the right challenge. Here are 12 educational ideals worth pursuing. They become powerful when we apply them not only to students but to everyone in a learning community of students, teachers, parents, administrators and staff. Students should be ... More

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Philosophical Toys - Exhibition at Apexart, New York, until August 6

[By Writer Sina Najafi] On Wonder and Pain: There are two paths in pedagogy. One is the Path of Pain, and the other the Path of Wonder. Like many people, I have experienced both. ... Viewers will be happy to know this exhibition is concerned with an alternative tradition, the more palatable Path of Wonder. I say tradition because it is neither the twentieth century nor the nineteenth nor even the Age of Enlightenment that recognizes the place of wonder and curiosity in learning, though it is true that eighteenth-century philosophers like Rousseau did much to rethink the idea of pedagogy from ground up. ... The idea of a formal pedagogical system based not on the memorization of facts and information but on the development of the "natural" curiosity inherent in every child emerged out of the eighteenth century. One book above all signaled the sea-change that education was about to undergo—Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Émile, where we find the following summary: "Remember that this is the essential point in my method: Do not teach the child many things, but never let him form inaccurate or confused ideas." ... The Path of Wonder is always in the process of producing new devices. Juxtaposed with artifacts from Fröbel’s original system of kindergarten, the Logic Alphabet devised by Shea Zellweger and the computational origami innovated by Jeannine Mosely both follow Fröbelian principles where the tactile, the visual, and the conceptual are merged into one. Playing with Zellweger’s beautiful devices and with Mosely’s seductive paper confections is an object lesson in the structures of logic and geometry respectively, a pedagogy that happens as much through our fingers and eyes as it does with the mind. Or as Rousseau puts it in Émile, "Our first teachers of philosophy are our feet, our hands, and our eyes." More

Unlocking Your Creativity

[27 July 2005 - American Chronicle] People who think they aren't creative are what you might call "creatively locked." They likely just haven’t dug far enough to find the treasures buried within. If being creative locked describes you, here are suggestions for unlocking your creativity, for uncorking your bottled up creativity. More

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Stirring the Creative Juices

[July 2005 - US Airways Attache magazine] Looking for fresh ideas? Inventive ways to solve problems? Read this. ... “Most of us will never be Einstein or Picasso,” acknowledges Steven Dahlberg, general manager of the Creative Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Hadley, Massachusetts. “But that’s not the issue. All of us have the ability to apply more of our creativity than we typically do. Creativity-oriented tools and techniques aren’t about pushing creativity into people, but allowing it to come out.” ... The Creative Education Foundation has encouraged use of this approach at the Creative Problem Solving Institute, a one-week total-immersion experience offered every year since 1954. Systematic applications of the process run through the courses offered by the ICSC, which since the graduate program’s start in 1975 has awarded master’s degrees in creativity to well over 200 graduates—teachers, corporate executives, and a diverse group of counselors, artists, and entrepreneurs. ICSC faculty members also apply these rules in consultation and training for Fortune 500 corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. More

Monday, July 25, 2005

Jeff Immelt: A candid conversation with the CEO of General Electric about leadership, creativity, fear -- and what it's really like to run the world

[July 2005 - Fast Company] What's the idea behind imagination breakthroughs? ... We had to have some way to pull ideas out of the pile, make sure they were funded, and really try to redefine what it meant to innovate in a big company. We started two years ago. We tested the time-honored tradition of pulling things out of the pile, putting good people on them, and finding ways to share ideas. In the beginning, we said, "Let's start with ideas that could generate more than $100 million of incremental revenue." We had 30 ideas. It was almost nothing for a company of our size. About 20 of them turned out to be good projects, from a dual card for consumer finance to a hybrid locomotive for GE railcars. What's magical about them? We picked who would lead them, and every penny is funded. Our leaders know they have to pony up. So I now have 80 projects inside the company that are fully funded with the best people we can find. The big difference is that the business leaders have no choices here. Nobody is allowed not to play. Nobody can say, "I'm going to sit this one out." That's the way you drive change. More

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Entering a dark age of innovation

[2 July 2005 - New Scientist] SURFING the web and making free internet phone calls on your Wi-Fi laptop, listening to your iPod on the way home, it often seems that, technologically speaking, we are enjoying a golden age. Human inventiveness is so finely honed, and the globalised technology industries so productive, that there appears to be an invention to cater for every modern whim. But according to a new analysis, this view couldn't be more wrong: far from being in technological nirvana, we are fast approaching a new dark age. That, at least, is the conclusion of Jonathan Huebner, a physicist working at the Pentagon's Naval Air Warfare Center in China Lake, California. He says the rate of technological innovation reached a peak a century ago and has been declining ever since. And like the lookout on the Titanic who spotted the fateful iceberg, Huebner sees the end of innovation looming dead ahead. His study will be published in Technological Forecasting and Social Change. It's an unfashionable view. More

British Government Unveils Creative Sparks, A Government Plan To Ensure That Every School Child Gets The Chance To Take Part In Arts And Culture

[29 March 2005 - British Government Department for Culture, Media and Sport] The Government today made a commitment that, within the next ten years, no child will leave school without having had access to high quality arts and culture. Creative Sparks, a key part of the Culture Department's Five Year Plan for the nation's artistic and creative life, aims to deliver that commitment. ... Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said: "Creativity will be at the heart of this nation's success in the future. Already it accounts for around eight per cent of our GDP, and is the fastest creator of jobs in the whole economy. The Government is determined to ensure that our young people get the best possible preparation for this bright future. Where they live, or their social circumstances, must not be allowed to hold them back. We want that spark of creativity that lives in every child to be recognised and nurtured." More

So Giotto drew on rocks … Children’s Art, Creativity, and Everyday Democracy

[8 July 2005 - Demos Greenhouse - UK] This is an essay on children's art which formed the basis for Tom Bentley's recent speech at 'How old do you have to be to be an artist?' on Children's Art Day (Tate Modern, 30 June 2005). ... Children’s art is thus not solely about learning how to draw, paint, sculpt or work in any other media. To see the child as producing 'art' is to think of him or her as a conscious participant in what is essentially an adult process. Far better, instead, to think of what the child is getting out of its creative engagement and what, consequently, the effect might be as the child grows up. More

The Art of Making Change Stick

[Summer 2005 - MIT Sloan Management Review] Often it seems like the vast majority of change initiatives are doomed to failure. In fact, there are four critical processes -- that rely on understanding emotions and behavior, not numbers -- that will give employees a visceral sense of the need for change. These process will motivate them to maintain their change efforts long after management attention has turned elsewhere. More

Tapping Into "Underground Innovators"

[Summer 2005 - MIT Sloan Management Review] How should managers respond when a hacker or other underground innovator alters their proprietary electronic systems? At companies like Sony, AT&T and Microsoft, managers have reacted, as one might expect with alarm and antagonism. Yet there is a better way. When enterprises handle unsolicited innovation well, they discover promising new business models and products. Underground innovators may be categorized as "elites"--who are mostly constructive--and "kiddies"--who are usually destructive. When managers harness elites' desire for recognition and persuade them to work cooperatively, as they did at Epic Games and TiVo, they create an all-around win- win. More

Managing for Creativity

[July/August 2005 - Harvard Business Review] Economist Richard Florida and SAS's Jim Goodnight explore ... A company's most important asset isn't raw materials, transportation systems, or political influence. It's creative capital--simply put, an arsenal of creative thinkers whose ideas can be turned into valuable products and services. Creative employees pioneer new technologies, birth new industries, and power economic growth. If you want your company to succeed, these are the people you entrust it to. But how do you accommodate the complex and chaotic nature of the creative process while increasing efficiency, improving quality, and raising productivity? Most businesses haven't figured this out. A notable exception is SAS Institute, the world's largest privately held software company. SAS makes Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For list every year. The company has enjoyed low employee turnover, high customer satisfaction, and 28 straight years of revenue growth. What's the secret to all this success? The authors, an academic and a CEO, approach this question differently, but they've come to the same conclusion: SAS has learned how to harness the creative energies of all its stakeholders, including its customers, software developers, managers, and support staff. Its framework for managing creativity rests on three guiding principles. First, help employees do their best work by keeping them intellectually engaged and by removing distractions. Second, make managers responsible for sparking creativity and eliminate arbitrary distinctions between "suits" and "creatives." And third, engage customers as creative partners so you can deliver superior products. Underlying all three principles is a mandate to foster interaction--not just to collect individuals' ideas. By nurturing relationships among developers, salespeople, and customers, SAS is investing in its future creative capital. More

Read how the online Slashdot ("News for Nerds. Stuff that matters.") community is responding to this article about creativity in organizations.

Dream Jobs Survey Shows Creativity is the Key to Career Happiness

[18 July 2005 - KSBI-TV - Oklahoma] It's not just child's play - most kids would rather grow up to be a doctor or nurse than a famous footballer, new research revealed. Medical professions like Doctors, Nurses and Vets have beaten occupations such as Footballers, Dancers and Pop Stars in a poll to find out what Brits most wanted to be when they were kids. As a sector, the creative industries scored the highest. More than 30 per cent of Brits specified some type of creative career as their dream job in childhood. But just 11 per cent of Brits have managed to achieve these career ambitions. More

Monday, July 18, 2005

Schools, students losing their creativity (Opinion)

[17 July 2005 - The Herald-Mail ONLINE] America is in the midst of a drought of epic proportions. Across the country, well-springs are drying up. The harvest that every American contributes to - one initially of growth and stability - is simply dying out. And yet, you cannot see this drought. ... So, with creativity dwindling in America's high schools, one would think that President Bush would be putting forth more programs to inspire the next generation of artists, musicians and writers, as well as well-rounded individuals. However, in his budget for 2006, President Bush proposed several severe cuts in education funding, specifically for art programs. In all, the president would eliminate 48 education programs. The president plans to terminate programs such as the National Writing Project and Arts in Education. More

Friday, July 15, 2005

An equal and opposite reaction

[July/August 2005 - KMWorld] David Weinberger of Journal of Hyperlinked Organizations (JOHO) writes: "The connectedness of the Net has clearly changed the way our kids learn. The default for many of them is to do their homework with whoever else is on their buddy list. Collaborating on assignments just seems natural. ... Yet, how does our educational system react? Our governments—national and state—impose more and stricter standardized exams that test our children’s retention of standardized content. Weeks of class time are given over to this testing, and, worse, the entire educational system is bent to a very old idea of what constitutes intelligence. ... In short: As connectedness transforms knowledge, our education system is swinging—running—in the other direction." More

What's the big idea?

[22 June 2005 - IBM Global Services] Whatever an idea is and wherever it comes from, its value comes from clearly communicating it to other people. Four steps can help an innovator methodically move a big idea from the concept stage to the point of engaging others in its development. More

Design Minded

[July 2005 - Fast Company] Dan Pink examines some of the causes of the rise of the creative class. ... "You can't automate artistry, empathy, and seeing the big picture. Those are very difficult to outsource. And that's where opportunity lies for the future." More

Monday, July 11, 2005

Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI) 2005 - Followup Resources

Searching for Creativity: Richard Florida on Minnesota Public Radio
[27 June 2005 - Midmorning - Minnesota Public Radio] He first promoted the idea that artists and other creative types could revitalize neighborhoods just by moving in. Now Florida looks at where the next creative class is coming from, and why the U.S. may not benefit from their talents. Guest: Richard Florida is the author of The Flight of the Creative Class: The New Global Competition for Talent. He's also the author of The Rise of the Creative Class. Listen to story online

Is the Twin Cities metro really a haven for the creative class?

[5 July 2005 - Minnesota Public Radio] Economist Richard Florida has declared the Twin Cities a world leader in attracting creative people. Florida draws a connection between the health of cities and their ability to attract what's defined as "the creative class." He describes the creative class as an increasingly mobile, educated and well-paid section of society. But a Minnesota economist says while it's a nice idea, the creative class theory just doesn't hold water. Listen to the story; read the story

In Praise of Play (audio)

[30 June 2005 - American Public Media's "Speaking of Faith"] If sport is an American religion, is that bad for us? What is the metaphysic of baseball? Hear from a theologian and sports fan who has spent much of his career studying the religious character of rituals in sporting events and the spiritual significance of fans' attention to sports. More

Friday, June 03, 2005

Academic Creativity: Its Own Worst Enemy?

[1 June 2005 - Campus Technology] Higher ed boards, executives, and faculties must work together to create differentiated academic management and governance models. ... ALONG WITH A GROUP of academic, cultural, and business executives who’ve managed creative people, I recently participated in an organized but robustly interactive smallgroup discussion about creativity. When the meeting leader started the discussion by noting that being creative is not the same as managing creative people, I wondered how his observation applies to the leaders of nonprofit colleges and universities, and the intellectually creative faculty they “manage.” I wondered particularly about such faculty’s use of technology in teaching and learning. More

Do today's kids have "nature-deficit disorder"?

[31 May 2005 - Salon] A new book argues that children desperately need to be able to play in the woods -- and that our culture's sterile rejection of nature is harming them in body and soul. More

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Creative thinking: try lying down

[9 May 2005 - PhysOrg] Keep that pen and paper by the bed: new research by an ANU PhD graduate suggests it may be that our most creative thoughts come when we’re lying down. Dr Darren Lipnicki, from the School of Psychology in the Faculty of Science at ANU, found that people solved anagrams more quickly when they were lying down compared to standing up. More

Thursday, May 05, 2005

New findings support a central role for NMDA receptors in learning and memory

[11 April 2005 - EurekAlert!] Learning and memory are processes that link experience with behavior and therefore play central roles in our daily experience. That there exists a physical basis for these processes seems at first hard to imagine--except for the fact that physical disruptions in the brain, such as stroke or disease, can make them go wrong. This week, researchers report that by making targeted genetic disruptions that disable a key neurotransmitter receptor in the fruit fly, they have uncovered an important clue to the physiological mechanisms at work in learning and memory. The subject of the study was the so-called NMDA receptor--a neurotransmitter receptor possessing special properties that could make it especially useful in learning and memory. In particular, past work has shown that NMDA receptors can respond in a special way to concurrent events on both sides of a synapse. Acting in this way as "coincidence detectors," NMDA receptors may help neurons form stronger or weaker connections with each other depending on whether they are repeatedly stimulated together. Neuroscientists strongly suspect that this process--called synaptic plasticity--of modulating the strength of synaptic connections on the basis of experience forms an elemental, neuron-level basis for learning and memory. More

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Disorganisation: Why future organisations must 'loosen up'

[2004 - Demos] Changing expectations of working life have created a new tension at the heart of organisational strategy. Employees want more human organisations with greater autonomy and flexibility. They want an experience of work that fits with their values. They want a greater say in the future of the organisations they work for. In short, they want organisations to ‘disorganise’. At the same time, organisations are facing external pressures. Competition shows no sign of waning, new demands for accountability and growing concern about security are all forcing organisations to take greater control, ‘hyper-organising’ to cut costs or guard against potential failure. So far there are only case studies of organisations experimenting with ‘disorganisation’. While these ‘case study companies’ may represent a relatively small part of the corporate sector, they can be seen as surface manifestations of an underlying desire for employees to feel just a bit less organised. This report looks at how organisations can manage the desire among employees for a greater sense of ‘disorganisation’ in an ever more competitive and complex environment. Based on new data from polling of employees and business decision makers, Disorganisation argues that to stay organised in the deep sense of engaging their employees in a shared project, organisations may have to disorganise to allow people more freedom to express their personal values and individual identity. Download and read the full report

About Learning

[2005 - Demos] Future excellence in learning depends on greater collaboration between leading edge schools and education researchers. Teachers are adopting new approaches to help students learn more effectively and some of these methods are better than others. Moreover there is room for developing yet better methods if practical developments in schools and the most promising advances in cognitive science could be brought together to ensure speedy and trustworthy new ways of ensuring that students learn more effectively. This report, published by the Learning Working Group and Demos, was commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills. The Group was chaired by David Hargreaves, Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge. The report proposes the establishment of a Commission on Learning, with its own small permanent staff and budget. It would be tasked with improving the exchange of ideas between schools and cognitive scientists, and driving forward collaboration between the two communities. Independence in learning is identified as one of the key areas where greater collaboration between education scientists and practitioners is required to promote excellence and raise standards. Download and read the full report

IBEC: Ireland must encourage innovation

[4 May 2005 - Ireland On-Line] Ireland needs to encourage innovation rather than rely on the comfort zone left by the Celtic Tiger boom years, it was claimed today. With experts at the Economist Intelligence Unit in London warning a failure to innovate was one of the top three risks to business, IBEC chiefs called on firms to use their creativity to bring new products to the marketplace. More

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Collective Creativity Exhibition

[3 May 2005 - OneWorld Southeast Europe] On May 1, the team of art curators ”What, How and for Whom?” (Ivet Curlin, Ana Devic, Natasa Ilic and Sabina Sabolovic), opened the “Collective Creativity” international exhibition at the Kunsthalle Fridericianum in Kasselu. The exhibition will be open for visitors until July 17, 2005.

Using their own experience of daily functioning in a collective, the members of the WHW curator team, under the “Zagreb – European Cultural Capitol 3000”, started a series of events in 2003 (lectures, debates and exhibitions), under the “Collective Action” name. The events were designed to explore the subject of specific aspects of working in art groups and collectives.

The invitation to exhibit at the Kunsthalle Fridericianum, being outside the established paths of bilateral state and institutional cooperation, is a unique opportunity for an independent collective of curators to work in one of the centres of the Western visual arts scene, and is immensely important for the promotion of non-institutional cultural practice in Croatia and a proof of its presence on the international scene.

”Collective Creativity” deals with diverse forms of collective artistic creation with a common programme, lifestyle, methodology and political positions shared by all protagonists. The exhibition addresses specific social tensions that are used as an axis around which the different activities of the group are organized.

The exhibition deals with various emancipation aspects of collective action, while the collaborative creativity is not just a form of resistance to the dominant arts system and capitalist demand for specialization, but also a productive and performing criticism of the social institutions and policies. More

Multi-million dollar foundation for global cultural development to be launched

[3 May 2005 - BBC] A UK arts centre will be created by a new multi-million pound foundation for global cultural development, backed by artists Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst. The Louise T Blouin Foundation, named after its Canadian arts publisher founder, will be based in London, New York and Paris. ... "Culture is the ultimate democracy," said Louise T Blouin MacBain. "We believe that culture can enhance creativity, which is the nervous system of society." More

See also the New York Times piece about this launch.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Creativity—How Can I Get Some?

[25 April 2005 - Harvard Business School Working Knowledge] Creativity is the lifeblood of innovation and marketing, but where does it come from and how should a company nurture this elusive trait? How does one explore creativity on the job—and use it to one's advantage? More

Change or Die

[May 2005 - Fast Company] All leadership comes down to this: changing people's behavior. Why is that so damn hard? Science offers some surprising new answers -- and ways to do better. More

The Business of Creativity Media Conference on 4/26

[15 April 2005 - The Graduate Media Association] The Graduate Media Association of Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) announces its plan to hold its first media conference, “The Business of Creativity”, which is set to take place on Tuesday, April 26, 2005 at MCNY’s Manhattan campus on the 12th floor. The conference will assemble a program of today’s top professionals to give hands-on workshops, lectures, and panel discussions, covering topics that are in the forefront of today’s media world. More

Encouraging Creativity in Children

[15 April 2005 - AccessNorthGa] Creativity is the ability to see things in a new way, to see problems that no one else may even realize exist, and then come up with new, unique, and effective solutions to these problems. Standard intelligence tests measure convergent thinking - the ability to come up with a single correct answer. But creativity involves divergent thinking - the ability to come up with new and unusual answers. More

Modern management tools 'vital for progress'

[18 April 2005 - Gulf Daily News] Effective leadership which can focus on proper management tools can contribute substantially towards the success of any organisation, says Bapco president Dr Mustafa Al Sayed. Changing business environment in an era of globalisation calls for a change in the style of leadership and management methods, he told the conference. Dr Al Sayed spoke on the Role of Leadership in Turning Companies into Successful Organisations. He focused on the combined effect of creativity, motivation and organisational culture on the success of companies. More

Build on creativity, architect urges

[18 April 2005 - Richmond Times-Dispatch] Frank Gehry, the architect known for such wildly inventive buildings as the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, designed himself a new office a few years ago. Once he moved in, he realized "it looks exactly like my old office." That's his daily reminder that it's comfortable to "remain static, to hide in the past," Gehry told a Richmond Forum audience. More

Working with creativity: Day marks office innovation

[19 April 2005 - Metro] Creativity is Marci Segal's middle name. With a graduate degree in creativity from the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State University and over two decades of experience, Marci Segal is the co-founder of International Creativity day, which occurs on Thursday. The day, which aims to help people find new solutions to old problems and break down barriers in their workplace and their communities, marks the end of Toronto's own Creativity and Innovation week which is currently taking place. More

Youthful creativity is vital for progress

[20 April 2005 - Daily Yomiuri On-Line] The United Nations has declared this year the World Year of Physics, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein's "miraculous year" in 1905 when he published multiple seminal papers describing ideas that marked the change from classical to modern physics. These ideas were born, not under the leadership of prominent figures in the academic community, but through exchanges with cosmopolitan friends in a climate filled with revolutionary ideas. Einstein's amazing intelligence pinpointed core issues in the world of physics at that time, skipping over peripheral problems and unflinchingly challenging ideas to find out answers. It may be a surprise to learn that Einstein was only 26 years old in 1905. But it also might be this very youth that made him challenge existing ideas and achieve creative results. Einstein's theories forced changes from conventional ideas in the world of physics. More

Creativity is core value, key to Jensen's success

[20 April 2005 - Daily Nebraskan] It takes more than a college diploma to start a company and become an owner of a Major League Baseball team. According to Dale Jensen, it takes a little creativity as well. More

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Beta-Test a Mind-Map Tool

[24 April 2005 - Topicscape] Roy Grubb is a beta-team member in a small group of developers who have been building a 3D mind-mapping tool for a couple of years. The tool is Topicscape and they are looking for people interested in trying out this tool. Topicscape uses a mind-mapping approach, which allows for freedom from linear thinking and provides a great way to tap creativity. Each mind-map node in Topicscape can have files, URLs, e-mails and parts of files dropped on it. You can have many files on a node if you want (or none). Topicscape has been designed in 3D because mind maps get too big if you use them on big projects. Plus, 3D itself can be stimulating and exciting. Using 3D on a computer screen can help users take in and understand much more and, as a result, help lateral thinking and creativity. This beta tools is available in personal editions (for installing on one PC). Check it out at, where you'll also find screen shots and stories from users showing how they use Topicscape in their work and personal lives.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Applied Imagination e-News - March 2005 - Links

[March 2005 - Applied Imagination e-News] CPSI 2005 to Explore Why "Creativity Matters"; Details and Registration Available Online ... Excitement is growing for CEF's 51st annual Creative Problem Solving Institute 2005 - to be held June 26 to July 1 in St. Paul, Minnesota. People from business, education, government and nonprofits will explore why "creativity matters." Ten featured presenters will stimulate insight and discussion through their CPSI keynote and spotlight sessions. Here's what some of these thought leaders have been doing lately:

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Cultures of Creativity: The Centennial Exhibition of the Nobel Prize is on Display at The New York Hall of Science

[8 March 2005 - New York] What is creativity and how can creative activity be encouraged? Which is more important to the creative process: the individual or the environment? The Centennial Exhibition of the Nobel Prize that will be on display in the Great Hall at the New York Hall of Science from March 12 to May 30, 2005. This exhibition examines these questions by presenting selected Laureates and atmospheres from the 100-year history of the Nobel Prize. This traveling exhibition doesn’t provide specific answers, but gives visitors the chance to think about the questions themselves. It encourages you to think in a new way, to question the world as it is and to strive for a better world, however an individual chooses to define that world. ... Among the Hands-on Discovery Tables is "Roger Sperry – left and right brain functionalization" where you can examine a realistic model of a brain, guess which animal each brain picture belongs to, and view various optical illusions. More

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Experimental test focuses on creativity

[6 March 2005 - Lexington Herald-Leader] Critics of the SAT say there's more to intelligence than finding grammatical errors and solving geometry problems -- or even, this year, than showing you can write an essay. But how to measure those other abilities? Robert Sternberg, a Yale University psychologist, says he's developed a test that does just that. The test, dubbed "The Rainbow Project," evaluates creativity and problem-solving rather than analytical skills. Instead of multiple choice questions, it asks students to write captions for cartoons, outline how they would solve a problem or write stories with unusual titles like The Octopus's Sneakers or 35,381. More

Thursday, March 10, 2005 - We can open mind to creativity, experts say

[9 March 2005 - Houston Chronicle] Creativity is all around us -- from the technology that makes it possible to carry our favorite tunes in something the size of a pack of gum to the vision that drew more than 4 million people to see saffron-colored gates across 23 miles of New York City's Central Park. Without creativity, Apple's iPod would be nothing more than a microprocessor with memory, not the digital device that has transformed the way we experience listening to music. And Christo and Jean-Claude's The Gates would be nothing more than fabric and steel. No wonder researchers are studying creativity, academics and business people are teaching courses on it and authors are writing books about it. ... "Much of the standard of living is the result of inventiveness, the act of creativity in developing new things, new devices, new ways to live," says Merton Flemings, an engineering professor at MIT in Boston, where he heads an annual contest for aspiring inventors that includes a single $500,000 prize. More

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Creativity urged at business conference

[28 January 2005 - The Californian] With a picture of a dinosaur projected behind him, Monterey Institute of International Studies associate professor Frederic Kropp said Friday business owners can learn a valuable lesson from the prehistoric animals. “You have to adapt or die,” Kropp said. “The moral of this is that innovation is really important.” Kropp and other speakers addressed listeners at the 11th Annual Tri-County Economic Conference, held at the Embassy Suites Hotel. This year’s event, “Catching the Next Wave of Entrepreneurship in the Monterey Bay Region,” targeted business owners looking for innovative ways to attract consumers. Fostering a creative environment can help businesses earn a competitive advantage, Kropp told the audience of about 100 business owners and city leaders from Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties. More

Lessons taught by Muskie desperately needed today

[30 January 2005 - Portland Press Herald]
Today, as a conference of experts at Princeton University concluded in December, a decline in comity, bipartisanship and cooperation is hurting the nation's ability to address the nation's needs and create solutions that serve the public well. What can we learn from Muskie's leadership model for accord and bipartisanship? Gov. Muskie believed in reaching public policy decisions by a process based on facts, broad participation by those with different opinions and vigorous but civil debate. The object was not to beat the representatives of the other party, but to reach agreement on policies and actions that would benefit the people of Maine. ... For Muskie, creating policy was like weaving a rug with a complex pattern, rather than patching together a quilt. It took time, creative thought, strong collaboration with Republican leaders, and help from everyone willing to do their homework and contribute. Some legislators do not have the patience for this. More

Monday, January 24, 2005

Studies find arts have ripple effect: Art education develops many cognitive skills

[23 January 2005 - Democrat & Chronicle] When school budgets are trimmed, arts courses often wind up as expendable frills. But a decade ago, arts teachers around the nation found an unexpected ally. Researchers at the University of California-Irvine discovered that students aced spatial-reasoning tests after listening to Mozart's music. Some scientists even predicted that the so-called "Mozart Effect" could spur brain development in children younger than 3. Tens of thousands of Mozart albums were sold to schools, hospitals and hopeful parents. Then, six years ago, the study was debunked by the journal Psychological Science and several independent scientists who found no lasting cognitive benefit in listening to music. More

Sunday, January 23, 2005

"Creative class" Guru Richard Florida and Writer Mary Catherine Bateson Among Keynotes at 51st Annual CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING INSTITUTE (CPSI) 2005

[18 January 2005 - Creative Education Foundation] "Creative class" guru Richard Florida and anthropologist and educator Mary Catherine Bateson to keynote the world's longest-running creativity event - the Creative Education Foundation's 51st Annual CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING INSTITUTE (CPSI) 2005.

Mark your calendar for CPSI 2005 - to be held June 26-July 1, 2005, at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. Registration will be available in the next several weeks, with an early-bird deadline of April 30!

Plan now to be at the event where "applied imagination" is just the beginning. Learn why creativity matters ... in business, in education, in communities, in aging and retirement, in arts, and in society.

For 51 years, CPSI has helped you learn to intentionally apply creativity to get results. At CPSI 2005, you'll find abundant opportunities for further professional and personal development:

Don't miss the keynote and spotlight sessions that showcase some of the best thinking about "why creativity matters" in the world right now. Confirmed featured presenters (with more to be added) include:
* Richard Florida, Hirst Professor of Public Policy, George Mason University; and author, "The Rise of the Creative Class" - with Don Samuels, Minneapolis City Council Member
* Mary Catherine Bateson, anthropologist and author, "Willing to Learn"; "Composing a Life"; and "With a Daughter's Eye: A Memoir of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson"
* Mike Morrison, dean, University of Toyota
* Coleen Rowley, agent (retired), FBI; and Time magazine's "Person of the Year 2002"
* Efiong Etuk, author, "Great Insights on Human Creativity"


Thursday, January 13, 2005

The New Science of Happiness

[17 January 2005 - Time Magazine] What makes the human heart sing? Researchers are taking a close look. What they've found may surprise you. Explore this Special Mind & Body Issue in which Time magazine presents an important series of articles that anyone interested in creativity should not miss. The nearly 70 pages of articles introduce the lay reader to "positive psychology (PP)," an emerging field that focuses on strengths and well-being and how to maintain these positive states, as opposed to psychology's tendency to focus on treating unhealthy or pathological problems. Creativity, as a strengths-based approach to development and engagement, is an important strand within PP. PP topics with relevance for creativity research and application include: happiness, optimism, joy, laughter, biology, thriving, spirituality, resiliency, trust, satisfaction, and positive emotions. More

Monday, January 03, 2005

How KLA-Tencor yields innovation

[1 January 2005 - Electronic Business] A culture of innovation: The products, including a services unit and the expert systems, and the need to stay two steps ahead of the chip industry's march toward smaller geometries (KLA-Tencor currently is developing products for 65 nanometers, generating ideas for 45 nm and researching 32 nm) are the innovative hallmarks of the company. But the culture that produces this innovation is where the management lessons are found. More