Friday, August 25, 2006

Five a Day of Creativity: A recommended daily output for expression

[24 August 2006 - The Stanford Daily - Opinion By Andrea Runyan] Creativity breeds happiness. At least Psychology Today says so. But Robert Hanson writes in Business Week Online that “most people are inclined to be more creative on the job than would be truly productive,” and thus “to succeed in academia, my graduate students and I had to learn to be less creative than we were initially inclined to be.” I think he has a point there. As much as people talk about the importance of creativity in research or schoolwork or a job, the purpose of these institutions is something other than nurturing our natural ingenuity. Perhaps, even at Stanford, we can’t depend on our work to provide us with sufficient opportunities to be imaginative. The purpose of jobs is production, not fun. But I think the purpose of humans, if there is one, would include creative expression. I’d even suggest a Recommended Daily Output (RDO) of creative products and ideas, just as the Produce for Better Health Foundation recommends five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Here are some ways to get servings of creativity in daily life. More

MacArthur Foundation to Recognize Small, Creative And Effective

[22 June 2006 - MacArthur Foundation] The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is creating a new annual award of up to $500,000 each for a select group of small non-profit organizations around the world that have shown unusual effectiveness and creativity, Foundation President Jonathan Fanton announced today. “It is often small or emerging organizations that generate provocative ideas, reframe the debate, or provide new ways of looking at persistent problems,” said Fanton in remarks to the Donors Forum of Chicago today. “Some are particularly effective at delivering services or challenging old paradigms. A significant investment in such promising organizations can contribute to progress on an issue or in an area of work, and can also help position a small or new organization for long-term growth and impact. ... Individual creativity is important. Government plays a big role, as does the private market.  But can we imagine life without the institutions that educate us, help us comprehend a complex world, and bring us together with others, empowering each of us to work together in pursuit of a more just and humane world at peace?” More

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Design Methods

[August 2006 - Design Council (UK)] This design process can help explain how designers work, as well as helping you to use these methods to structure a design project. Plus, check out the collection of easy-to-use design tools, methods and processes for you to use and download. More

Rising tide of innovation

[16 August 2006 - The Australian] Stuart Cunningham, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia, describes the concept of the creative economy, how it emerged in the UK in the late 1990's, and what its development could mean for Australia. More

New proposals to boost the Creative Economy

[10 August 2006 - eGov Monitor (UK)] New proposals by a group of experts to boost the UK's creative economy have been published for consultation, Creative Industries Minister Shaun Woodward announced. The proposals, which mark the first major milestone of the Government's Creative Economy Programme, have been drawn up by a team of experts tasked with exploring new ways to help the UK's creative industries prosper. Recommendations include flexible, affordable homes for creative businesses and a creative industries 'dating agency' to broker and co-ordinate new relationships and partnerships. More

Creative types get a bit of business schooling

[20 August 2006 - Los Angeles Times] As it distributes grants to artists, the Creative Capital Foundation also tries to teach them how to succeed in the wider world. Founded in 1999, Creative Capital has delivered $5 million to nearly 250 artists, and in the process is creating a new template for private arts funding, using a mix of old-style grant-making and post-dot-com venture capitalism to re-imagine the relationships among artists, funders and markets. More

Teaching Humanity

[21-28 August 2006 - Newsweek International] While education in science and technology is crucially important to our nation's future, "abilities associated with the humanities and the arts are also vital," says Martha Nussbaum, "both to the health of individual nations and to the creation of a decent world culture. These include the ability to think critically, to transcend local loyalties and to approach international problems as a 'citizen of the world.' And, perhaps most important, the ability to imagine sympathetically the predicament of another person." More

'Digital prohibition' inhibits YouTube culture

[16 August 2006 - VNU Net (UK)] Copyright restrictions are constraining the user-generated content revolution, Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig has argued in an opening keynote at the LinuxWorld conference in San Francisco. Lessig described the original situation as a 'read-write' structure, where individuals are able to both create and consume media. The copyright restrictions of the 20th century, however, form the equivalent of a 'read only' culture. Examples of the 'read-write' culture are commonly found on services like YouTube, where consumers mix and match existing media to create new media and express opinions, exercise criticism or propagate views. More

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


[21 August 2006 - BusinessWeek] The real contest is among communities, not nations. Check out these hot spots. ... America is losing its competitive edge. That premise has been pounded into our heads so often by pundits, and reinforced with each report on the rise of China and India, that it's almost taken as a given. But can a nation that has averaged 3.4% growth for three years and keeps posting sterling productivity gains really have a competitiveness problem? Or is that problem much more local? Here is a quick tale of two cities. In fact, they are two cities in one metropolitan area -- Boston. ...  Research by economists such as Harvard University's Edward L. Glaeser shows that communities with high concentrations of college grads also have the strongest economies. Trouble is, young talent is scarcer as America ages. Two-thirds of U.S. metro areas have fewer 25- to 34-year-olds than a decade ago, Cortright notes. To draw them, more cities are listening to George Mason University public policy professor Richard Florida, author of the 2002 best-seller The Rise of the Creative Class. Many cities and states produce plenty of college grads, but they don't stay. To thrive, Florida argues, communities need urban areas attractive to bohemians: "Competitive advantage is shifting to places that are very open to allowing people to express themselves." More

Rising tide of innovation

[16 August 2006 - The Australian - Higher Education] THE term creative economy refers to the growing role of creative industries and creative people in our economy and society. This is a crucial emerging concept for Australia because the creative economy will secure our competitiveness in the global future. But if we are to harness its energy we must first settle the vexed question of what it is. ... The creative economy is a difficult category to nail down, but it is bigger and broader than we think, and it is much more than culture and the arts. It joins together a broader range of industry sectors than those that traditionally have been classified as cultural, giving birth to the notion of the creative industries. But it also goes beyond a sectoral focus to embrace how creative roles or occupations are increasingly being found throughout the economy. More

What Kind of Genius Are You?

[July 2006 - WIRED magazine - By Dan Pink] A new theory suggests that creativity comes in two distinct types – quick and dramatic, or careful and quiet. ... What David Galenson has found is that genius – whether in art or architecture or even business – is not the sole province of 17-year-old Picassos and 22-year-old Andreessens. Instead, it comes in two very different forms, embodied by two very different types of people. “Conceptual innovators,” as Galenson calls them, make bold, dramatic leaps in their disciplines. They do their breakthrough work when they are young. Think Edvard Munch, Herman Melville, and Orson Welles. They make the rest of us feel like also-rans. Then there’s a second character type, someone who’s just as significant but trudging by comparison. Galenson calls this group “experimental innovators.” Geniuses like Auguste Rodin, Mark Twain, and Alfred Hitchcock proceed by a lifetime of trial and error and thus do their important work much later in their careers. Galenson maintains that this duality – conceptualists are from Mars, experimentalists are from Venus – is the core of the creative process. And it applies to virtually every field of intellectual endeavor, from painters and poets to economists. More

Does Age Quash Our Spirit of Adventure?

[15 August 2006 - All Things Considered] Robert Sapolsky, a distinguished neuroscientist in his 40s, had a young assistant who played different music every day, from Sonic Youth to Minnie Pearl. That made Sapolsky crazy -- and curious about why his aging ears still crave the music he loved in college. Is there a certain age when the typical American passes from the novelty stage to utter predictability? More

What Does Innovation Look Like?

[15 August 2006 - CIO MAGAZINE]
Does innovation have a look and feel? How about growth? And how does that jibe with the look and feel of technology and business? These were the questions we pondered as we set out to design the cover of this year’s CIO 100 issue. Innovation, we thought, had to have energy and color and motion. It had to be fresh and somewhat surprising. When we talked about growth, we focused on the organic. That brought to mind images of plants, children, flowers. Technology and business, on the other hand, inspired more mechanical, electrical and even urban icons. The challenge was to marry these things that didn’t seem to go together and present them in a beautiful way. But in the end, isn’t this what innovation is all about: the combination of disparate elements in a way that hasn’t been thought of before to create something of unique value? More

Imagination at Work

[15 August 2006 - CIO MAGAZINE] Robots. Supercomputers. AI. Five CIO 100 honorees are boosting revenue, cutting costs and maybe saving the planet with these and other cool technologies. More