All posts tagged creativity

The Impossible Dream | Rotary Forum 2017 Wellington Talk

What would it take for Wellington, the city and region, to be the best in the world?

I gave a talk at the Rotary Forum 2017 this week. Unfortunately, due to technical issues my presentation video / audio wasn’t captured, *so recorded the above version.

As you’ll hear / see, my response was to challenge us to think about Wellington becoming:

The most creative little capital in the world.

A lofty goal.

Raising the creative literacies of a city / region to ask better questions sounds impossible although wonderfully audacious.

Something I’m working towards with (the two “common soon” projects of) Creative Welly and Creative Leadership NZ (reach out if you want to know more or subscribe to blog posts on the right hand side there).

Thanks to the event organisers for the opportunity to have voice:

DK gave an inspiring address to the Rotary Club Forum: “Achieving the ‘Impossible Dream’ for Wellington: the city and region” on Tuesday 1 August 2017. His themes included creativity, innovation, compassion, empathy and branding. He challenged the audience on achieving a “creative Welly”, connecting the creative capital, providing leadership across the sectors, an independent collective and a community that is simultaneously globally minded and locally focused. He personifies the quote of “Life’s too short not to be audacious.” He set the stage for a Forum that was bold, diverse and audacious about achieving ‘Impossible Dreams’ for Wellington.

Dr Roger Blakeley Chair, Wellington Rotary Club 2017 Forum

rotary wellington forum DK sketch note
Image credit for sketch note – Sketchability NZ.

*not the same flow and impact of a live talk so apologies for the lack of intonation and delivery (I’m much better in front of a live audience).

Speaker line-up / order

References

Inventing Worlds In A Changing One | Creativity, Faith And Curiousity

Wisdom and insights from heavyweight creatives.

What a combination: Sir Jony Ive and J.J. Abrams interviewed by Brian Grazer. So many pearls here to chew on, digest and adopt.

The openness of Ive remembering his boss as someone who was focused on simplifying things to be beautiful, functional and good whilst championing the idea of craft and care to create superior utility. Love his highlighting the designers quest for being desperate in that care so others will sense it. Other gems include the challenge to how, when you create, you should learn from the things you worked on and the things you learned from the act itself. And finally, his sharing of how Steve Jobs taught him focus by asking: how many times have you said no today.

jony ive discerning quote

We are capable of discerning far more than we are capable of articulating.
Jony Ive

J.J. Abrams unpacks the creative process as asking the right questions along with having ferocious curiousity (something Ive also agrees with—see above). Abrams also advocates the concept of following your gut and not starting from a place of deconstructing other peoples work, rather, find a story which should exist and do that.

jj abrams creativity quote

Any act of creation is a leap of faith.
J.J. Abrams


What did you take away?

Jad Abumrad | Gut Churn Of Creativity

jad bumrad radiolab

Reflective storytelling and analysing the ‘crappy queasy space’ in the journey of finding your true voice.

This week I attended a talk by Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center, Big Sky, Montana.

It was a storytelling masterclass with layers of different media from sound to text to animation to video (tapping into the VARK model of learning), all orchestrated by Jad as he weaved our attention deeply around the forms created.

The talk was a personal reflection on Jad’s own grappling journey with finding ‘his voice’ and the hunt for authenticity, ensuring you are true in your own self is so important as you’re often:

…forced to sit in the emptiness to face the authenticity.

In radio / podcasting, here’s his description of where the power lay:

…it’s like being with people whilst being by yourself…

And the ultimate goal in the act of producing is an attempt to:

…create an emptiness which is so much bigger than you.

With a splendid assortment of delectable stories and experiences to quote, from napkin sketches of radio shows story structures through to Ira Glass’s gap, Jad also shared his own three big lessons:

  1. Chasing the antelope: storytellers are like shamen as they lull an audience into a collective dream state. And just like the shamen, it’s not just asking the questions but living it, chasing it down, just like Scott Carrier;
  2. Chase the little shit: a lesson from a filmmaker friend regarding the cognitive effect of how paying attention to the smallest of details reframes a story to have massive impact;
  3. Follow the odds: how talking to poker player Annie Duke led to understanding how 25% odds are a great bet. Like the time Jad did a radio piece on how many colours we see in a rainbow compared to other animals. Hard to do in the medium of sound. So they converted the the colours of rainbow to sound which led to Jad assembling and conducting a choir in this radio piece.

Here’s an older and much condensed version (not as multi-layered, polished and doesn’t have a lot of the above) presented at a 99u conference:

 

Thanks Jad and gutted you’re too busy to explore a trip out to NZ to speak—let me know if you change your mind.

If you’re reading this Jad, would love to know what setup you were using (in terms of hard/software).

Big Sky Montana Thinking | Hatch 2013

Hatch is about connecting a group of madly curious people and trusting in their ability to generate creative value.

Split over two locations (one in the Montana hills at the Rainbow Ranch Lodge, Big Sky and the other in the heart of Bozeman via an innovation lab / space), no other event has ever challenged me as much to be present and in the moment (hence the lack of notes):

hatch10-notes

This was due to the loosely structured agenda and being surrounded by film-makers, musicians, technologists, artists, entrepreneurs, marketeers, architects, trouble-makers, designers, writers, inventors, specialists, generalists (full attendee list here), all of whom ignited the brain with conversations that dripped in inspiration and possibility!

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And oh those delicious Rugrats moments:

rugrats

Deep waist bows to all attendees, partners, sponsors and obviously the organisers—humbled to have been invited and definitely learned (again) that giving is living!

Fascinating Stuff #2 | February 2013

fascinating fireman bible app

Image Credit / quote and story link

fascinating hd cams fashion week

Image Credit / Image Credit / quote and story link

fascinating google parents days

Image Credit / quote and story link

fascinating hugh creativity

Image Credit / quote and story link

fascinating innocente

Image Credit / quote and story link

fascinating itunes 25billion

quote and story link

fascinating riot big brother

quote and story link

Bible app, fashion show streaming, google parents day, creativity, crowd-funding Oscars, 25billion iTunes, Riot big brother.

Stuff which has fascinated me this past month.

Other fascinating stuff

Creativity Is Not A Talent | Cultivating Innovation

Habitat cultivates habit (UPDATE: video now blocked due to copyright infringement. Other versions are here)

The above video is a feast for the brain / heart and introduces the conditions for creativity:

  • Space—obviously, both the physical and psychological
  • Time—half of creating the oasis
  • Time—to play with the problem and solving it with something original
  • Confidence—to get things wrong
  • Humour—getting us from the closed to the open mode/mindset in the quickest way possible

For me the most compelling idea in the whole presentation is that creativity is not an in-built-DNA-traceable-disposition.

It’s something which can be learned.

Cultivated.

Encouraged.

So, do the organisations / companies we create / work for foster the above conditions so creativity / innovation can blossom?

Creatalyst | Releasing My Inner Artist

creatalyst 1

Images. Words. Soundscapes. Questions.

The opening lines on the about section of the Creatalyst app says:

“The creative process, a business project, even life, is a journey expanding our vision of what’s possible.”

Photographer, mentor and good friend Dennis Hodges, developed this app as a spark to the creative process we find ourselves in day to day.

The categories of Visualize, Compose, Explore, Develop, Deliver, unfold (literally) as you delve deeper into the audio/visual offering.

creatalyst 2

Used alone, it could simply excite the senses and neurons to reconnect thoughts:

creatalyst 3

And/or spark new ideas:

creatalyst 4

There are also deeper options such as favouriting images, deleting them from the image bank, sharing through social spaces, adding comments for yourself and others in the Creatalyst community to read.

creatalyst 5

I remember Dennis describing the seeds of the app idea on a train journey back from Lucerne to the Zurich, Switzerland (Feb 2011). As the magnificent view offered us lakes and majestic mountainside I was more intrigued by the essence of the idea shared.

Congratulations Dennis.

Not just on bringing an idea to market, but also on making it so engaging.

All links to the Creatalyst app are non-affiliated.