Monday, September 29, 2008

Gardner Promotes "Five Minds" for the Global Future

[29 September 2008 - By Steven Dahlberg - Report from the Global Creative Leadership Summit] "What kinds of minds do we want to cultivate?" asked Howard Gardner last week at the Global Creative Leadership Summit. "What kinds are most important?"

Gardner, who is a professor of education at Harvard University, described five minds that are important -- disciplined, synthesizing, creating, respectful and ethical -- and require different kinds of intelligence.

"You can't have it all," he said. "There are tensions between these kinds of mind." He suggested that education policies need to address these conflicting tensions. He further described each of these "minds":
  • DISCIPLINED: knowing something well and working on it.
  • SYNTHESIZING: the ability to deal with inundation of information; understanding what to pay attention to, what to ignore; and how to put this information together.
  • CREATING: thinking outside the box; having new ideas. "You can't think outside the box unless you have a box," said Gardner. "You need the disciplined mind, too."
  • ETHICAL: asking what one's responsibilities are as a worker or citizen; not "what are my rights?"
  • RESPECTFUL: more than tolerance of differences; cultivating respect and emotional and interpersonal intelligence.
Gardner added that sometimes respect and ethics can clash.

"You can't develop all these minds in every single person," he said. "The society in which one lives decides what we should be emphasizing." For example, Gardner pointed out that some East Asian countries overemphasized discipline at the expense of creativity.

"Each person needs to figure out the right blend of these minds," concluded Gardner.

Gardner shared these ideas during the Global Creative Leadership Summit opening session on "What If? Scenarios: The Futures of Globalization." It was held September 21, 2008, in New York.

ABOUT THE SUMMIT AND SPONSOR: The Global Creative Leadership Summit, sponsored by the Louise Blouin Foundation, is a three-day forum that brings together great international minds -- including heads of state, CEOs, Nobel Prize-winners and acclaimed artists -- to address pressing global issues, including geo-economics, foreign policy, education, health, poverty and climate change. The Summit also has a goal to work with developed and developing nations alike in order to best address global issues. The Louise Blouin Foundation is an international nonprofit organization that seeks to provide a globalization platform to address challenges in such diverse areas as international trade, foreign policy, education and the environment through the lens of culture and neuroscience.

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