What’s getting Maverick Minds attention and worth celebrating is the start of World Creativity and Innovation week (WCIW), which runs from 15-21 April 2021.
WCIW was Founded by Marci Segal, on the 25 May 2001, in Toronto Canada. Marci has spent her career focused on creativity through her work and research.
And did you know that the 15th April is Leonardo Da Vinci’s birthday? It seems a very appropriate connection.
The theme and focus for WCIW 2021 is education. There are various speakers and events taking place around the globe which you can find on the website.
In relation to creativity in education, another person I’d like to acknowledge is Sir Ken Robinson who passed away in 2020. He leaves a great legacy of deep thinking and work around nurturing creativity in schools and across education, and the links between learning and creativity.
Another new kid to arrive on the creativity block is Creative Enlightenment a new publication which has found its home on Medium.com
It’s a collection of stories, advice and expertise on creativity and innovation from experts in the field. Why not join us there.
The Purpose of World Creativity and Innovation Week is to remind and encourage people to use their creativity to make the world a better place, and to improve their own place in the world. It is about using our creativity and imagination well.
I like that idea, using our creativity and imagination well… what does that mean?
It’s worthwhile thinking about creativity in these terms, particularly when one of the definitions in amongst the many is that it is:
The production of novel ideas that are made useful.
It is creativity in action. This is applied creativity. This is creativity leading to innovation and innovation needs creativity and investment.
We know as a global society we are facing many complex challenges and a lot of uncertainty. 2020 showed us that front and centre and exposed our weaknesses and exploitations and yet it showed us how quickly we can adapt if we need to. We also saw creativity in action as individuals, communities and organisations responded to this crisi. We have always faced challenges.
And what gets us through?
What enables us to meet these challenges and find good solutions?
It is our human creativity, our greatest natural resource, that enables us to solve or at least attempt to solve problems that arise. My thoughts are that we can do this in either a transactional way, or a transformational way. If we really apply our imagination and creativity with the best possible intentions, individually and collectively, then I think the solutions are likely to be more transformational rather than business as usual.
As Marci says
- Creative Capital is our greatest asset (similar to being our greatest natural resource)
- Creativity is linked to Long term Economic growth
We know for instance the enormous economic and cultural contribution that the Creative Industries and the Arts makes. This became very apparent in 2020 when many arts organisations and related creative professionals could not work in ways they normally did.
However, they found ways to continue, and for many of us these artful offerings became an integral part of our lives. We found solace, entertainment and meaning online from the arts in its broadest sense; film, TV, music, author and book discussions, theatre productions, and artists facilitating workshops. The creative spirit was alive and available to us. During this time many creative professionals and cultural institutions gave freely of their creative output and found ways to bring their work to life virtually and we participated in different ways.
There seemed to be a creative outburst a need to connect and share. We were all in it together and learning together. Technology became our lifeline.
Many of us may have also contributed in some way to this creative outpouring.
One of the TV productions that caught my attention was Staged, a British television series, set during COVID-19 in the United Kingdom primarily filmed using video-conferencing technology. Starring David Tennant and Michael Sheen it captured the mood and disruption of this time. That is creativity at work, responding, seizing the zeitgeist, imagining what else is possible, finding new and different ways to express a time, a feeling, a need.
And Creativity is all of that and more…isn’t it?
It is being human. Yes, it is about the way we express ourselves and interact with the world around us.
It is also recognising and valuing our creative diversity. We are all creative and we express it and use in different ways. Each of us brings something unique to the table. From business development, entrepreneurial endeavour, how we communicate with one another, care for health and creative wellbeing.
Cultivating creativity in all aspects of our life is a worthy investment.
It is about how we use our creativity and imagination…for what purpose?
Problem solving, making decisions, living a creative life, and going to back to the original idea and one of the most important.
Using our creativity to make the world a better place, and to improve our own place in the world.
I’m reminded of John Paul Lederach, a pioneer in peacebuilding and conflict transformation, the author of The Moral Imagination. I value his perspective, that conflict resolution is an artistic process, and that creativity stays central to the process to help transcend cycles of violence. That is a mighty worthwhile idea and worthy of inquiry, conversation and creative action.
Returning to Marci Segal, and what she says of creativity…we have it available “let’s just use it’. She suggests four areas to focus and apply our creativity which are:
- New ideas
- New decisions
- New actions
- New Outcomes
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them. We’ve heard this before.
It requires something else, something like….creativity
Here is a Call to Action over the coming week…
Think about how you will use your greatest natural resource – your creativity?
It might in how you support and encourage others to step into their creativity?
This might be in getting behind ideas, decisions and outcomes from others for instance. How often do you dismiss other people’s creative ideas? What would it be like to get behind them?
How will you apply your creativity and imagination to generating new ideas, new decisions, new actions and new outcomes. Take a look around you, what gets your attention? Where can you experiment and how you can influence positive change?
And what novel and useful ideas can you employ that can make a better world for you and others by drawing on your greatest natural resource?
You can use the WCIW #IAmCreative to be part of the conversation?