Filed under: creativity, Digital culture, Emergent media, Future of Media, Futures, Futurists, geek, People you should know | Tags: Caterina fake, David rowan, Eric Wahlforss, Networked society, on the brink, Soundcloud, wired
A transformer from Nike sent me this link to “On The Brink” which discusses the past, present and future of connectivity with a mix of people including David Rowan, chief editor of Wired UK; Caterina Fake, founder of Flickr; and Eric Wahlforss, the co-founder of Soundcloud. Each of the interviewees discusses the emerging opportunities being enabled by technology as we enter the Networked Society. What does it really mean to imagine borderless opportunities and creativity, new open business models, and why do people talk about today’s ‘dumb society’? Check it out…
Filed under: creativity, innovative education, People you should know | Tags: Dan Pink, innovation in education, innovative education, ken ronbinson, montessori, public school system, steiner, stev denning, TED
Where’s the innovation in our education system?
I had a question posed by one of my readers yesterday about innovation in education. She contends that our public schools have become “test factories powered by child labour where there is only one correct answer for each question”. Many parents I know have expressed frustration at our public school system’s inability to inspire children to learn. The reader who posed this question is from the US but the same could also be said of Australia. How innovative are our schools and what are they doing to engage, inspire and re-imagine the idea of learning for our children?
I am a mother of two small people so I am also keenly interested in what inspires children. I understand the concern about this idea of a “test factory” and I have also started to explore avenues outside of the traditional structures of education to find ways to engage and inspire them. When it comes to “education” surely some of the most important things we can do are >
a) help our children find things they’re passionate about so that they might to engage optimistically and passionately with the world
b) encourage in them a sense of curiousness to help them understand that life is about exploring – opportunities, relationships and experiences
c) instil in them a value of delayed gratification so that they will live beyond the moment as well as in the moment
d) appreciate and feel grateful for what they have, so that they will learn to be positive, content and in control of their own happiness
A great article by Steve Denning published in Forbes Magazine poses the question > how do we inspire lifelong learning in students, so that they are able to have full and productive lives in a rapidly shifting economy? (more…)
Filed under: creativity, Digital culture | Tags: ceativity, creative thinking, steve jobs, Wired Magazine
Now I’m not a super techie but I must admit, when Steve Jobs passed away I was devastated. Maybe I’d read too many Silicon Valley articles, books and biographies. Over the years I’d churned through the lives of Steve Wozniak, Paul Allen, Bill Gates and the rest of the tech revolutionaries. I’d poured over business articles on the business innovation and cultural articles on the social influence of Jobs’ breakthroughs. The guy was a genius. Forget Apple [although clearly Apple is where it is today due to the unfailing vision of Jobs], but NeXT technology and of course, Pixar. As Apple and indeed the rest of the technology world start to imagine a world without Jobs, I thought it might be a timely moment to reflect on one of his more well known quotes on creativity. I love the idea that creativity is not some abstract thinking that only creative people do. Some heightened genius that just pops into the heads of those “creative types”. The more we look around, the more engaged we are, the more we think, the more we imagine and hypothesise and try new thinking on for size, the more we join dots in different ways. Hell the more dots we see. We know Apple wasn’t perfect, we know Jobs’ management style wasn’t always popular but one thing’s for certain, the guy certainly thought differently. I wonder whether we’ll ever see another man of Jobs’ creative and intellectual magnitude in our lifetime..
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. “Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.” – Steve Jobs, Wired, February, 1995
I was having a conversation with a colleague of mine yesterday about creativity. We were talking about how brave you sometimes have to be in order to show your creativity to people. Whether it’s a new idea for a product, a book you’ve written or it could even just be creativity in your job at work or your life at home. People who work in an obviously creative field like landscape design or advertising do this all the time but for those of us who don’t, showing someone our work or sharing our ideas can be daunting. Two things spring to mind here>
1. Creativity is like anything. We get better with practice. We also incidentally, get better and picking the stinkers from the showstoppers. Everyone’s been in a situation where they’ve come up with what they think are some good ideas, only to have them stamped on or suffocated by somebody else. We’ve all been there and most of us have probably been the stomper at one point or another. The point is, just because you have the idea doesn’t make it great, we all have good ideas and we all have stinkers. The more ideas you have, the more you’re likely to come across a showstopper. What’s the answer? have more! Do more. Be less precious and less personal and just do more of it to increase the chances.
2. The second thing is reminds me of is children. Small people can’t wait to come up and show you their drawing or something they’ve made at school. Even if it is difficult to recognise or completely aesthetically challenged it doesn’t occur to them that you won’t like it. And I’m sure even if you didn’t, they wouldn’t be crushed and go home and reconsider the meaning of life and whether this is the right path for them or whether it’s a sign of some bigger dysfunction in their lives. No they’d pretty much just make another. They’d try something else. Use crayons instead of textas. Use more glitter and put more sequins. They’d just do something else because at the end of the day (although they don’t consciously realise it), they don’t need to be precious about their work because there’s plenty more where that came from. Their little minds are bursting with fruit flavour and if you don’t like one, stuff you they’ll just keep going until you do.
Playing on this idea of quantity not just quality being good for creativity, I came across Dominic Wilcox’s latest project > 30-day creation challenge. Each day for 30 days he will make something and the items that he has completed thus far (he is currently on Day 18) are now on exhibit TODAY through Tuesday in London at Mestakes and Manifestos (curated by Daniel Charny). If you’re in the London area, go check it out. You can also follow his progress on his blog Variations on normal.
Each day for 30 days I will make a new object, installation or creative intervention while going about my daily life. At home, in the studio, on the train or wherever my day takes me, I will attempt to make something that interests me creatively and then quickly document it on the M&M website (and here) via photographs, drawings or video. Each day I will receive a small budget of £10 for materials.
I believe that this self-imposed project with it’s constraints on time and money will force me to take an instinctive and experimental approach. The fear of failure and the usual time spent thinking through the potential pitfalls of a project will not be an option and I will need to react swiftly to my thoughts, observations and experimental outcomes discovered along the way. I am not focused solely on the final objects or images but on the creative journey I take. Complete failures are expected and embraced.
You can check out the rest of Dominic’s ideas at the Anti-Design Festival’s Mestakes and Manifestos here. A snapshot about this program >
Mistakes and Manifestos, curated by Daniel Charny, echoes the ADF call to shake off bad habits, to refresh and engage, be awake and active. Presenting a series of works and activities pulled together to excite conversation, the M&M! space is an invitation to think, make and talk about design. Manifestos are calls to action, inciting response, setting principles and direction, responding to the past and conceiving the future, proudly declared and highly desirable to those who create them. They are briefs. Mistakes on the other hand are unwanted results.
So if you’re feeling stuck in a rut, that you wish you could be more creative than you are. Stop thinking. Stop wishing or wondering or pondering and just do it. Have a crack, try something new. Don’t aim for something amazing, aim for ten, no twenty things (even if they feel mediocre). If you can come up with 10 or 20 product ideas, retail ideas, sales tips, networking events, relationship tools or motivating exercises. One of ‘em is going to be great.
Read more at Design Milk: http://design-milk.com/dominic-wilcox-speed-creating-project/#ixzz1HuiLOMdf
Filed under: Advertising, creativity, Emergent media, Geek stuff, Innovative advertising, Nike | Tags: Nike
Speaking of Nike [see James Jarvis post below] and newfound blogger Bud [see post below], here’s another great example of Nike digital advertising. If other companies took a more considered thoughtful approach to digital conversation rather than literally attempting to “take over” our pages while we’re surfing [hands up who thought the page takeover was ever going to be a positive consumer interaction?] the digital advertising world might just move towards the personal, interactive, conversational medium it promised to be. Check it out. Bloody great. ps. thanks Bud.
Filed under: Borrow this, brainstorming, creativity, Innovation, Innovative stimulus, new product | Tags: brainstorming, Five Buck Brainstorms, Starbucks
Saw this and had to smile. This guy has been selling five buck brainstorms online – give him the brief, slip him a purple and he’ll send you back a brainstorm bonanza.
Now he’s not necessarily going to crack your number # 1 internal business problem but if it’s just a fresh perspective or mass market idea you’re after, there is something to be said for quantity over quality, at least to get the juices going.
Watch out innovation gurus, Don the Ideas Man is coming to a site near you.
He also sells “Beanstorming” [brainstorming for an hour over a coffee @ starbucks]. Check it the Idea Barista
Saw this over at aktifmag and it made me smile.
A quick Google revealed many discussions online around the difficulties Ch7 seem to be facing, namely from one blogger who goes by the tag of dickheadprogramersat7.
Maybe this year will prove to be a more fruitful one for them…
For those of you who haven’t seen Banksy’s latest exhibition in NYC, check this out.