Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why Google’s "20 Percent Time" Isn't Stemming Its Brain Drain

The time and space Google gives engineers to work on their own projects used to be the key to luring in PhDs and other brilliant minds. The recent talent exodus suggests it's no longer enough. ... All of which begs the question: Can a company get so large that innovative incentives, like 20 percent time, simply aren’t enough to hold on to the kinds of pioneering, entrepreneurial employees who are the key to helping companies remain on the cutting edge? [29 November 2010 - Fast Company - More]

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Reconnecting Nature and Culture - Webinar Today

Earthscan invites you to join a free webinar presented by the authors of Biocultural Diversity Conservation and Sacred Natural Sites for an event that explores the important relationship people have with nature and how vital it is for the future of our natural world.

Reconnecting Nature and Culture
  • Understand the concept of biocultural diversity
  • Learn how to integrate cultural and spiritual values into conservation, tourism and heritage management practices
  • Discover how embracing the values of local people can dramatically increase the success of conservation and sustainability efforts, for the benefit of all.
Tuesday 23rd November 2010 17:00 (UK time – GMT), 12:00 (EDT), 9:00 (PDT)
Click here for free registration

Luisa Maffi will introduce the concept of biocultural diversity; and explain the benefits of understanding the linkages between biodiversity and culture for conservation and sustainability. Robert Wild will further the discussion through a focus on sacred natural areas. He will explore the benefits of utilising the connection between these natural areas and cultural values in order to protect landscapes.
  • Luisa Maffi is co-author of Biocultural Diversity Conservation, she is a linguist, anthropologist, and one of the originators of the field of biocultural diversity. She is co-founder and Director of the international NGO Terralingua. She is based in British Columbia, Canada.
  • Robert Wild is co-editor of Sacred Natural Sites. An ecologist and social scientist with 25 years practical experience of working with communities at protected areas in East Africa, Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Europe. He is chair of the IUCN's Specialist Group on Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas, and is based in Scotland.
Who should register? Professionals and academics working in the fields of conservation, tourism and heritage management. Can’t make the date? Simply email Rachel.Butler@earthscan.co.uk with Reconnecting Nature and Culture recording in the subject line and we will send you a link to the archived event.
Receive a 20% discount on a book, too: type EARTHCAST into the voucher code box in your shopping cart when ordering any book. For more information, and to view all previous Earthcasts, please visit http://www.earthcasts.co.uk. [17 November 2010 - Earthscan Ltd]

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Mad Artist's Brain: The Connection between Creativity and Mental Illness

More evidence for the long-suspected physiological link between inventiveness and mental illness ... The popular perception of creative thinkers and artists is that they often also have mental disorders -- the likes of Vincent van Gogh or Sylvia Plath suggest that creativity and madness go hand in hand. Past research has tentatively confirmed a correlation; scientific surveys have found that highly creative people are more likely to have mental illness in their family, indicating a genetic link. Now a study from Sweden is the first to suggest a biological mechanism: highly creative healthy people and people with schizophrenia have certain brain chemistry features in common. A research team at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm studied 13 mentally healthy, highly creative men and women. As noted in the paper published in May in PLoS ONE, other scientists had previously found that divergent thinking, or the ability to “think outside the box,” involves the brain’s dopamine communication system. The Swedish research team used PET scanning to determine the abundance of a particular dopamine receptor, or sensor, in the creative individuals’ thalamus and striatum, areas that process and sort information before it reaches conscious thought -- and that are known to be involved in schizophrenia. The team found that people who had lower levels of dopamine receptor activity in the thalamus also had higher scores on tests of divergent thinking -- for instance, finding many solutions to a problem. Previous work has shown that people with schizophrenia also have lower dopamine receptor activity in the thalamus -- and the scientists suggest in their paper that this striking similarity demonstrates a “crucial” link between creativity and psychopathology. “Thinking outside the box might be facilitated by having a somewhat less intact box,” writes lead author Fredrik Ullén, a cognitive scientist at Karolinska. [22 November 2010 - Scientific American - By Elizabeth King Humphrey - More]

Friday, November 19, 2010

National Creativity Network Launched in Oklahoma City

In conjunction with the seventh annual Creativity World Forum 2010 held in Oklahoma City, November 15-17, the National Creativity Network officially launched at a special meeting with Founding Chair, Sir Ken Robinson, on November 15 from 9:00-11:30 am at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel.

For two years, creativity and innovation leaders in the U.S. have gathered with Sir Ken Robinson and leaders in Oklahoma who began a statewide creativity movement, Creative Oklahoma, linking education, commerce and cultural efforts, in 2006. On November 15, representatives from the states of Wisconsin, New Jersey, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Colorado, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York joined with Oklahoma leaders to announce the formation of a new National Creativity Network, linking statewide and regional creativity initiatives in the United States.

The National Creativity Network will facilitate the exchange of ideas, share best practices, and encourage collaboration among partnering geographic districts committed to creativity and innovation in America across the three sectors of education, commerce, and culture. Network members are committed to the urgent need in the U.S. to nurture and promote the development and expression of creativity and innovation, in education, in business and in the community; ideas and actions so that America can remain a world leader in innovation, discovery, free enterprise, and learning.

“As the pace of change quickens around the world, many communities throughout America are facing powerful economic challenges. In addition to the recession, they include the decline of old industries and the need to generate new forms of businesses and employment. Patterns of community life also continues to change and evolve, causing social challenges,” explains Sir Ken Robinson, Author of The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything and Founding Chairman, National Creativity Network.

“To face these challenges, we must develop high levels of imagination. Throughout the country there are many regions that are rising magnificently to these challenges. The purpose of the National Creativity Network is to connect these regions so that they can support and enrich each other's work and promote the vital spirit of economic and social innovation across the whole United States," said Robinson.

The National Creativity Network will be based in Oklahoma City with a national board. Sir Ken Robinson is the Founding Chair and George Tzougros, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Arts Board, is the Board Chairman.


Sir Ken Robinson, Founding Chairperson, NCN
International Creativity, Innovation, and Human Resources Consultant

Dennis Cheek, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow
Foreign Policy Research Institute

Steven Dahlberg
International Centre for Creativity and Imagination

Carrie Fitzsimmons
Executive Director
ArtScience Labs

Jean Hendrickson
Executive Director
Oklahoma A+ Schools/University of Central Oklahoma

Wendy Liscow
Program Officer
Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
New Jersey

Susan McCalmont
Executive Director
Kirkpatrick Foundation

Robert Morrison
Quadrant Arts Education Research
New Jersey

Scott Noppe Brandon
Executive Director
Lincoln Center Institute
New York

David O’Fallon
Minnesota Humanities Center

Mark Robertson
Robertson & Williams

Susan Sclafani
Director, State Services
National Center on Education and the Economy
Washington, DC

George Tzougros
Executive Director
Wisconsin Arts Board

[15 November 2010 - Creative Oklahoma For more information, contact: Kathy Oden-Hall, Creative Oklahoma, 405-203-5742, kodenhall@stateofcreativity.com]

Monday, November 08, 2010

Ken Robinson and National Thought Leaders to Join “Shaping the Future of Creativity Today” Workshop at the Creativity World Forum

Following the launch of the National Creativity Network on Monday, November 15, more than 50 people from around the country will gather to work on the “Shaping the Future of Creativity Today.” This workshop runs from 2 to 5 p.m. and is part of the seventh annual Creativity World Forum 2010 to be held in Oklahoma City, November 15 to17.

Noted creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson will help officially launch the National Creativity Network from 9 to 11:30 a.m., and then will join the opening of the workshop at 2 p.m. Both events take place at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City.

Robinson is author of The Element and speaks globally about the importance of creativity and arts in education, work and society. He will join several other national thought leaders who will help in the first hour of the workshop to set context about creative alternatives that are already happening related creativity across society. This group includes:
  • Carrie Fitzsimmons – executive director of ArtScience Labs.
  • Jean Hendrickson – executive director of Oklahoma A+ Schools.
  • Dan Hunter – arts advocate and policy expert.
  • Mary Alice Long – play consultant and advocate.
  • Scott Noppe-Brandon – executive director of the Lincoln Center Institute and co-author of Imagination First.
  • Scott Rich – assessment specialist at Scholastic Testing Service.
Steven Dahlberg, director of the International Centre for Creativity and Imagination, and Cheryl Whitesitt, executive director of the Minnesota Future Problem Solving Program, will facilitate the workshop, which focuses on:
  • Exploring the state of creativity today.
  • Engaging creative alternatives about the future of creativity.
  • Directly involving participants in creative processes and tools that help move beyond merely advocating the value of creativity to igniting action for change about creativity's role in society.
The workshop is open to all, and seeks diverse participants -- representing education, business, arts, government, nonprofits and beyond -- who all share an interest in applying more personal, organizational and community creativity. The workshop fee is $45 and people may participate whether or not they are attending the Creativity World Forum. More workshop information is available at www.appliedimagination.org/cwf.

More information about the Creativity World Forum is available at http://www.stateofcreativity.com/ and about the National Creativity Network at http://www.nationalcreativitynetwork.org/. [8 November 2010 - National Creativity Network - For more information, contact Kathy Oden-Hall, Creativity World Forum, (405) 203-5742 or kodenhall@stateofcreativity.com]

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Dan Pink on Creativity, Motivation, Work, Education and Play

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates UsThe Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You'll Ever NeedA Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the FutureListen to "Creativity in Play" interview with creativity guru and author Dan Pink. Highlights from Dan Pink's interview about creativity, motivation, education, play and policy:
  • What drives Dan? To find out about stuff and to follow his own curiosity.
  • How do you motivate people to do creative work?
  • If you want to do simple things, if/then motivators work.
  • Interesting creative things outside of the U.S.: Role of workplace design in Australia ... how physical architecture can enhance creativity.
  • Knowing "why" you are doing things is more motivating.
  • Humor is an incredibly important management tool.
  • Humor can diffuse difficult situations.
  • Humor can be part of bonding.
  • On play ... doing things because they are challenging and provide flow experiences. These are crucial for intrinsic motivation.
  • Google's "20% rule" to work on what you want is like recess at work.
  • The difference between making decisions for instrumental reasons rather then fundamental reasons.
  • Policy changes to support creativity? Changes in education, increasing public support for the arts, and public support for research and development.