Yeah, yeah, I know, this blog is supposed to be about classical improv, etc., but I am a big fan of ideas in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Cool stuff is cool stuff. And: if you’re paying attention and think a bit, sometimes when you come across a DNA-bending Creative New Idea, you extrapolate and otherwise tweak or transplant the idea to other fields. Say, classical improv. Or horns. Anyway, here’s a fun article that you should definitely check out for just this reason:
Who can resist ideas like Analytical Undies (#3), The Shutup Gun (#14), Terrifying Playgrounds (#17), The Mind-Reading Shopping Cart (#21), Teeth That Think (#23), or Robo-Petting (#31)?
Canada again is at the forefront of innovation and creative thinking in an article by Jennifer Lewington in the Globe and Mail: “More Business Schools Offering Arts, Creativity Courses.” Music to my ears: “At the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business, an elective course on creativity will be come a mandatory [my italics] component of a revamped MBA this fall.” Alleluia. Another quote: “A 2008 Conference Board of Canada study found that arts and cultural organizations employ more than one million Canadians and account for 7 per cent of the national economy.” We will all wait an eternity if we wait for our SuperPac elected officials to recognize the contribution that the arts and arts education makes to the well-being and quality of life of the nation – they care only about $. The ones who are mostly likely to make something happen are the corporations themselves (who can then goad the legislators into action) when they finally realize that the key to the future is innovation and the key to innovation is education that includes training in creative thinking. They (i.e. non-Canadians) have been slow to grasp the point because 1) there is a no way to put creativity on a standardized Every Child Left Behind test 2) there is a delay time between when creative activities are undertaken (music, art, drama, dance starting in elementary school and continuing through college) and when creative thinking produces new approaches and new products and 3) there is no direct this-to-that connection between arts education and innovation and legislative minds in this country have a hard time valuing anything that does produce immediately and obviously. If you can’t count it, weigh it, measure it exactly, today, what good is it? goes current thinking.
Too many teachers are locked into being purveyors and transmitters of information, smiling supporters of acceptable behaviors, and, in the end, authorities who grade multiple-choice examinations. It would be better if teachers were mapmakers, distributors of tools, sowers of ideas, stimulators of creativity, guides to the puzzled, and models to growing children.
More quotes/notes from Creativity is Forever:
Cognitive abilities of creative thinkers, listed by creativity Frank Barron in 1988:
1. Recognizing patterns
2. Making connections
3. Taking risks
4. Challenging assumptions
5. Taking advantage of chance
6. Seeing in new ways.