There’s a day for everyone all over the planet to feel free and welcome to generate new ideas, make new decisions, take new actions and achieve new outcomes that make the world a better place and make their place in the world better too.
That’s it. That’s the vision.
It’s like the old Shel Silverstein cartoon
At times when we feel stuck, we can shift our perspective to make our place in the world better than it appears.
World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21 and Week, April 15-21 provide an escape hatch of sorts.
Calendar time, for example, to
Consider and modify ideas before buying into them: What’s good about what’s going on? How might you adapt to a new situation?
Appreciate perspectives and approaches different from ones we already use: How might you figuratively walk in someone else’s shoes?
Stretch beyond your knowledge: What’s something you’d like to know more about?
Learn from and have new experiences: Get outside your routine.
Even though the WCID April 21 celebration is relatively new, it’s growing, and people are learning about it now that it is a United Nations Day of Observance.
Do you think that feeling self-conscious may prevent people from celebrating their capacity to generate new ideas, make new decisions, take new actions and achieve new outcomes to make the world a better place and make their place in the world better too? Think about it.
When it comes to creativity, many say they want to make sure they get it ‘right’ as if there is an external measure to meet, as if there is a perfection standard they must attain. There isn’t. Not where creativity is involved.*
Creativity is a natural process that results from a restlessness to change or improve the status quo. (Segal, 2001). We all feel that restlessness from time to time. We engage in new and different activities, use new patterns of thinking, perceive with new eyes, and/or seek new experiences. We might structure things differently, relate to others in new ways as a result. Examples: rearrange furniture; modify a recipe; take a new route to school; eat breakfast for dinner; hold meetings in a different location; invite unusual suspects to participate in the planning process.
Each these could be considered creative. American Anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “In as much as someone has done something new for himself, he can be considered to have committed a creative act.” To which I like to add – whether other people consider it creative or not.
Creativity is one of our resources. By celebrating it every year April 21 and during the week leading up to it beginning on Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday, April 15 we prepare for the future.
Thought catalystsFor your WCID this year, and for every year moving forward consider these thought catalysts
What is in your environment that can do with some improving? Improve it.
What ordinary activity might you make more fun? Make it more fun.
What efficiencies might you bring to a process? Bring them.
New ideas need a soft place to land. Remember there is balance in the universe. Every idea influences a reaction. Giving new ideas a soft place to land will be the focus of a future blog post.
Confusion about creativityThe term creative can be confusing. Insert the term before each of the following as an example: economies, industries, advertising, agencies, media, digital, technology, sports plays, arts, commons, market, writing, images, resumes, ideas, photography, dance, quotes. In each instance, there’s a slightly different meaning.
A practical approachFor our purposes, to enable everyone to celebrate WCID and WCIW here’s the understanding used: Generating new ideas, making new decisions, taking new actions and achieving new outcomes that make the world a better place and make your place in the world better too.
Remember to upload your WCID2018 and WCIW2018 actions to share with the world.
Segal, Marci (2001) Creativity and Personality Type: Tools for understanding and inspiring the many voices of creativity. Huntington Beach: Telos Publications.
Happy to share this video with you – it’s the 15-minute Ted-like speech I gave in Buffalo this past fall at the Creativity Expert Exchange in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the International Center for Studies in Creativity, my alma mater.
The founding of WCID is shared, as is the tale of how the day became a United Nations Day of Observance and why that is important. Spoiler alert: it’s centered on using creativity in problem-solving especially with regard to meeting the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Imagine applying creative thinking and creative evaluation to assess and address the challenges – to find solutions that work.
Now scroll further for information on the Global Goals Interconnectedness and see what you can do to help meet any of the goals by reviewing the Global Goals List that follows.
The Global Goals are Interconnected
The goals’ interconnectedness and influences are spelled out in a paper Water, Peace and Global Security: Canada’s Place in a Changing World, delivered by R.W. Sandford, EPCOR Chair, Water and Climate Security, United Nations University, Institute for Water, Environment & Health at the University of Victoria, British Columbia Jan 23, 2018.
“All 17 of the UN’s 2030 Transforming Our World global sustainable development goals can be achieved by realizing the link between water security, climate stability and human and planetary health. Water security means clean water and sanitation for all. It also means managing water on a basin scale which means protecting aquatic ecosystems which improve life on land and life below water which leads to improvements in agriculture which will help end hunger; which also helps to end poverty.
Managing water in a manner that will help end hunger and poverty, however, cannot be achieved without industry innovation and infrastructure; but innovation and infrastructure development cannot come into existence without quality education which demands gender equity which in itself leads to reduced inequality. Quality education, gender equity, and reduced inequality lead to economic growth. It is only through economic stability that we will be able to make a smooth transition to affordable and clean energy for all which is a critical step toward climate action. Climate action will help restore planetary health thereby contributing to better physical and mental health and well-being for all.
Improved human health and well-being allows an ever more crowded world to react more proactively and be more resilient to growing public health threats like epidemic outbreaks which, in tandem with climate action will reduce the specter of large-scale forced human migration. This, in itself, will lead to peace and justice and strong institutions. Such institutions are necessary to guide humanity toward responsible production and consumption. It is only through strong institutions, responsible production and consumption, clean water, sanitation and climate action can we have sustainable cities and communities.
Making and acting upon the link between water security, climate stability and human and planetary health will demand the creation of the new kinds of partnerships that are necessary if we are to achieve all 17 of these global goals simultaneously. The building of such partnerships will build trust which will contribute to state and military security globally.”
*Global Goals List
1. No Poverty
This goal, which seeks to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030. The UN defines extreme poverty as living on less than $1.50 a day. Perhaps most importantly, this goal includes measures to protect those who have had to leave their homes and countries as a result of conflict.
2. No Hunger The UN seeks to both improve the access that the world’s poorest have to food, and the ways in which that food is produced.
3. Good Health and Well-being This goal focuses on continuing to reduce child mortality, the health of mothers, and combating other diseases.
4. Quality Education Improving worldwide access to education is a top priority. It calls for free education through high school, rather than limiting it to primary school only.
5. Gender Equality This goal advocates for the elimination of violence and discrimination against women. It also calls on countries to improve women’s social and economic standing.
6. Clean Water and Sanitation The UN reports that by 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water. This goal aims to improve sanitation and hygiene practices, including access to fresh water, in developing nations by 2030.
7. Affordable and Clean Energy This goal seeks to broaden both the development and use of renewable energies by 2030, the next deadline date for achieving these goals.
8. Decent Work and Economic Growth The UN is interested in both the creation of new jobs, and the development of those jobs that are sustainable enough to lift employees out of poverty. According to UN estimates, “roughly 470 million jobs are needed globally for new entrants to the labor market between 2016 and 2030.”
9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure This goal focuses primarily on the building of roads, rail systems, and telecommunications networks in the developing world.
10. Reduce Inequalities This goal aims at reducing the inequalities in income distribution among the most marginalized populations in the world, both within developed and developing nations. The UN estimates that “a significant majority of households in developing countries – more than 75 percent of the population – are living today in societies where income is more unequally distributed than it was in the 1990s.”
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities With urban populations on the rise over the past decade, the world is on a hunt for ways to house, feed, and employ that burgeoning population. This goal seeks to tackle that problem by reducing the number of people who live in slums by 2030. It also aims to reduce the pollution output coming from those urban centers.
12. Responsible Consumption and Production This goal, a continuation of Goal 6, seeks to improve the access that people in developing countries have to food and clean water, while at the same time improving how food is produced on a global scale. It also aims to address the global obesity crisis.
13. Climate Action The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals looks at quickly and efficiently reducing greenhouse-gas emissions in both developed and developing nations.
14. “Life Below Water” The UN is interested in sustainable fishing practices and protecting marine life. They estimate that nearly “40 percent of the world oceans are heavily affected by human activities, including pollution, depleted fisheries, and loss of coastal habitats.”
15. Life on Land The UN is also interested in protecting creatures on land, with an emphasis on reducing deforestation and desertification.
16. “Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions” A goal that envisions fair and free elections, as well as governmental accountability at every level. The UN estimates that “corruption, bribery, theft, and tax evasion cost some US $1.26 trillion for developing countries per year.”
17. Partnerships For the Goals In keeping with practices established with the 2000 Millennium Development Goals, the UN continues to envision a global framework of support to make sure that its goals are realized. Adapted from: https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Global-News/2015/0926/UN-s-17-global-goals-What-s-on-the-list See what you can do. Release human potential for a purpose.
George Land‘s 2011 TEDx talk came across my Facebook feed today. I will always remember the class he guest taught. George asked us, undergrads at the International Center for Studies in Creativity, to practice using divergent thinking. Even though we already knew how – he took our capabilities far further. “Write down 5 of your strengths,” he said, “then draw a line.” After we finished, he said, “Now do it again.” This exercise went on for an hour and 40 minutes. Five strengths and a line, five strengths and a line. It was grueling. By the end of that class, I realized I had strengths that I never knew about – like having brown hair, or breathing, and being able to laugh and cry. My perceptions and appreciation of strengths forever changed that day. In school we practiced using our imaginations on a regular basis; we’d learned techniques by which to stretch and then focus thinking to make something of it. When I saw George’s TEDx talk, I was reminded of that. I was also reminded that not everyone has the same experience using their imaginations; many may uncomfortable or shy away from using their imaging capabilities. Think that might be you? if so, what if you began an imagination practice for World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21 as George suggests at the end of his talk, to bring out your latent genius. Then, with practice, you can apply using your imagination on challenges to create new ideas, make new decisions, take new actions and achieve new outcomes. Seriously, watch this video all the way through. George gives basics behind what we all need to be capable of to create the world of tomorrow and to align with and meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals – to use creativity in problem-solving to make the world a better place and to make our place in the world better too. Spoiler alert: George is going to mention the accelerator and the brake. Watch out for that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfKMq-rYtnc&feature=share Want an imagination practice buddy? Why not? Take George’s advice at the end of this video, ask a friend to help generate other similar kinds of exercise and see what you accomplish. It’ll be good for your brain, good for your body, good for your future.
The title of this post reminded me of the phrase, ‘the elephant in the room”*. I have thought of the role of technology in creativity and innovation of late, and how we may be pulled away from an essence of creating because of the draw to and structures of technology. Do technology and our view of it inhibit our creativeness? On the eve of World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21 I thought this may provide an interesting thought piece to share. I contacted the author, Arupa Tesolin, and was granted permission to repost her blog. Minor wording changes appear in (brackets). The bolding is mine. Arupa’s full original post can be read at https://intuita.com/ape-innovation-room/ What are your thoughts? The Ape in the Innovation Room
The Ape in the Innovation Room https://intuita.com/ape-innovation-room/
Every day … another technology, AI, robotic or virtual reality topic … makes the news. All seem to be products of an extremist polarized cultural perspective that views technology as the hallowed impact of our time. Technology has become the dominant alpha.
The way we think, imagine, create and see the world has become partial, limited, incremental and commoditized. Many of the above technologies fit, fixate, extend or elucidate that worldview …
…The fundamental problem is that we have not organically changed the way we think, feel and view the world.
Our mass cognition is … surface oriented, … material. Nearly everything we create arises from a lean or critical thinking view of profitability, sustainability, and meaningfulness. We … have machined and refined (our) hunter-gathering (behaviour) to (become) technological agriculture without consideration for environmental or species consciousness.
What’s missing from this view is access to a deeper (layer) of human experience, one that extends our deep cognition to the level where we can perceive different possibilities. This is where (profound) more viable paradigms have their birth.
Certainly, our geniuses, Einstein, Tesla, others, have gone there.
Shallow consumption and shallow thinking are non-sustainable and ultimately self-exterminating.
There is a level of mass-produced conversation and economic speculation about deep cognition in machine learning and artificial intelligence that seems to want to choke off alternatives. The prevailing view is that no infobit should remain unturned and insights into every literal data crevice are gathered. Presumptions about their significance will be made primarily by machines. And privacy be damned by the way.
But my sense is that we’ve stopped short of looking into the mirror at our own cohesive shallowness….
We are the ape in the innovation room.
Even in innovation itself. I observe often that … organizations have a tendency … to be continually breathing out, managing processes or developing outputs. There seems to (be)… no breathing in, reflection, enjoyment or pleasure; a hapless result of our speedy time. Consequently, innovation is more like forced construction than creation. Unfortunately, I see that as a road to depletion.
What is deep cognition? It is the state of cohesive mind/heart entrainment in human experience — a wholeness state. Mindfulness is (an) entry gate to being present. Beyond presence is a deeper kind of awareness, a wholeness experience where our state of existence is more complete and has more space for creative experience and for each other.
Embarking on our own deep cognition will forever change us and the future. Intuition, imagination, and vision become more visible and frequent in this state. (Deep cognition) … enable(s) us to perceive and inform ourselves with new ideas that are … whole and … centered on quality of our lives and future, rather than (focused on the) quantity of our lives and future, as is the current predominant root theme. ( With deep cognition) our solutions, products, devices, and UX will be radically different (than what they are today).
…Divisions between them/us, gender, race, and culture (will also change with deep cognition). … We are one team, one family, one humanity. And we have not dared enough of ourselves to (alter) the limited critical thinking view that is the hallmark of our age and the result of our (current) education system.
Dare we? This is (a) disruption that festers … right in the face of our technology-vanity.
What do you think? What can we do to change this?
*The Elephant in the room is an English language idiom that refers to an obvious problem or risk that no one wants to discuss or a condition of groupthink that no one wants to challenge. (Wikipedia)
Arupa Tesolin is the founder of Intuita, author of Ting! & creator of Intuition MindWare. She is a speaker, deep innovation trainer & consultant helping people in intelligent organizations transform from within. Reach out to her using the contact form on this site.
Greetings to all. We are awash in VUCA – volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous – times, and have been since 2013, at least.
World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21 was recognized by the United Nations in 2017 as a Day of Observance. It was championed by Ambassador I. Rhonda King, Permanent Representative to the United Nations from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who said “It is imperative we use creativity in problem-solving to address the challenges we face. Traditional thinking will no longer do.”
What is VUCA? From Wikipedia
V = Volatility. The nature and dynamics of change, and the nature and speed of change forces and change catalysts.
U = Uncertainty. The lack of predictability, the prospects for a surprise, and the sense of awareness and understanding of issues and events.
C = Complexity. The multiplex of forces, the confounding of issues and the chaos and confusion that surround an organization.
A = Ambiguity. The haziness of reality, the potential for misreads, and the mixed meanings of conditions; cause-and-effect confusion.
All four come together in ways that either confound decisions or sharpen the capacity to look ahead, plan ahead and move ahead. VUCA sets the stage for managing and leading.
We continue to learn how important it is to stay nimble, agile, alert, confident, imaginative, creative, resourceful, humble.
Let’s use World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21 and World Creativity and Innovation Week, April 15-21 to strengthen our capacity to generate and consider new ideas, new decisions, new actions and new outcomes.
“Optimism starts with what may be the most extraordinary of human talents: mental time travel. That is, the ability to move back and forth through time and space in one’s mind. To think positively about our prospects, it helps to be able to imagine ourselves in the future. Although most of us take this ability for granted, our capacity to envision a different time and place is critical for our survival. It allows us to plan ahead, to save food and resources for times of scarcity, and to endure hard work in anticipation of a future reward.
While mental time travel has clear survival advantages, conscious foresight came to humans at an enormous price — the understanding that somewhere in the future, death awaits. This knowledge that old age, sickness, the decline of mental power, and oblivion are somewhere around the corner, can be devastating.”
Here’s an idea – what if you viewed the Ted talk, and keeping sustainability in mind, wonder about how and when you think or feel people are most likely to express their creativity to make a difference?
Imagine starting off a conversation at your next meeting during World Creativity and Innovation Week, April 15 – 21 with these statements from a Tim Brown, IDEO CEO Harvard Business Review article from November 2016.
“All of our management practices need to be updated: how organizations are structured, how we deploy capital, how we interact and collaborate with broader networks, what tools and technology we embrace and deploy, what we measure, what markets we target, who we hire and how we lead. Of these, how we lead and the kind of culture we create are the essential starting points.
When our goal is efficiency, our concept of governance includes ensuring standardization, high levels of coordination, careful assessment of risk, and, of course, the elimination of waste.When we want to be creatively fit, governance looks quite different. It should be, and feel, more nurturing. It should focus on speed of learning and rigorous experimentation. It benefits from an attitude of abundance.
Nurturing a creatively competitive organization requires curiosity above all else. Asking the right questions is more important (and more difficult) than having the right answers. One of my favorite Victorian entrepreneurs, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, asked the seemingly ridiculous question, “How can I create the experience of floating over the English countryside?” in his quest to building the first large scale, long-distance railway service in England.”
More at: https://hbr.org/2016/11/leaders-can-turn-creativity-into-a-competitive-advantage
“… the ability to make connections across disciplines-arts and sciences, humanities and technology-is a key to innovation, imagination, and genius.” Walter Isaacson (2017) Leonardo da Vinci. p3.
Imagine you have a day of freedom to explore cross-disciplinary thinking, and that you take the opportunity to combine what you’re working on now with sustainable development to create something new, to innovate.
You have that day – it’s World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21.
See what you can do.
FYI World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15-21 begins on Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday, April 15.
Check out where your search engine points when you query his name. Who knows what you’ll find out that you can use for inspiration.
“It is the Combining faculty. It brings together things, facts, ideas, conceptions in new, original, endless, ever-varying combinations…It is that which penetrates into the unseen worlds around us, the worlds of Science. ”
To use your imagination… combine two things that by nature have not yet been connected.
What if, for example, as a brain warm-up activity, in getting ready for your World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21 or World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15-21, you combine your next project with one of the sustainable development goals? What new invention, idea, solution might emerge?
Open minds, hearts, eyes to new ideas, new decisions, new actions: one week worldwide