Thank you for your leadership, Mr. Westhead!
Greetings all! It was an honour and a privilege to meet with Ambassador I. Rhonda King, Permanent Representative to the United Nations from St. Vincent and the Grenadines last week, on Thursday, April 20, 2017, to discuss the upcoming resolution to include World Creativity and Innovation Day among the UN Days of Observance. Ambassador King is the champion of this resolution.
Ambassador King is championing that all levels – government, public sector, and civil society – use creativity in problem-solving to make the world a better place and to make our place in the world better too, to reach the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
[A fuller report on the journey to the United Nations will follow in the next few weeks. Please use the comment section below to include the questions you have.]
What does it mean to use creativity in problem-solving?
Would you like to contribute to the understanding of what it means to use creativity in problem-solving?
I am preparing a document to submit to the UN describing what to expect when creativity is used in problem-solving at the government, private sector, and civil society, and welcome your voice, your additions. You will, of course, be given credit for your contribution and will receive a copy of the document for your files.
Please keep submissions to 250 words or less, bullet form is fine, and say from which country you are writing. Copy editing may take place. Depending on the breadth of contributions, a summary paragraph may result, summing up the themes brought forward.
Use this page for your submissions, deadline is May 7
Short term: I am on holiday for the next few weeks and look forward to compiling what you submit, beginning May 7, the deadline for your comments.
Longer term: Because attention to life on our planet is of prime importance, I urge you to review the Sustainable Development Goals and view each as an opportunity for creative problem-solving at home, at work, in your government, and to include these in your goals for #WCID2018 and #WCIW2018
- What might be ways to align actions and use each as stimulation for creative problem-solving?
- How might you combine what you are currently involved in with advancing these goals?
- What are ways to collaborate with unlikely partners to make a difference?
- Your examples of applying creativity in problem-solving to meet the 2030 Sustainability Goals will inspire others to act in meaningful, responsible, wise and impactful ways to make a difference that makes a difference. Please keep a record of them.
- Help is needed, your help, to keep conversations alive, to keep creative energy moving.
- We are in for the times of our lives! Ask for what you need and want to build creative confidence, competence, capacity, comfort, and commitment to using our creativity (new ideas, new decisions, new actions, new outcomes) to make the world a better place and to make our place in the world better too.
With appreciation for your leadership,
Update April 21,2017.
Great news!! WCIW is gaining momentum. More sponsors want to be included in UN resolution. Delayed reading in General Assembly!
Thank you, everyone, for your leadership, inspiring others to use creativity (generating new ideas, making new decisions, taking new actions and achieving new outcomes) and innovation in their problem-finding and problem-solving to make the world a better place and to make their place in the world better too.
I am thrilled to announce that On April 20, 2017, 10:00 am eastern, I. Rhonda King, Permanent Representative/Ambassador to the United Nations from St. Vincent and the Grenadines is scheduled to read a UN resolution on the floor of the General Assembly to include World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21, among the UN Days of Observance which includes Earth Day, Water Day, World Humanitarian Day, and the like.
In her 10-minute speech, Ms. King will emphasize the importance of using creativity to meet the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals: 17 Goals to Transform the World
Friends, I urge you to do a few things:
- Review the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and choose one to creatively champion (even in one small way) with your family, friends, clients and colleagues this year and every year forward; in the coming months we will be collecting your stories so keep a record, and stay tuned!
- Gather with others to Watch Permanent Representative I. Rhonda King deliver her speech on Thursday, April 20, 2017, at 10:00 Eastern Time on UNWebTv
- Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate! on April 21st; the UN is sanctioning using creativity in problem-solving to transform the world.
- List your celebration (it’s free!) here for others to see.
Cool news, eh?
Logos created by Vanessa Chaplin
With so much divisiveness in our world now, wouldn’t be nice if we could transcend our differences and unite in our creativeness if only for one week every year? This year?
We all possess a potential for the future; we are pregnant with the possibilities for tomorrow. Wouldn’t it be cool to see in everyone the contribution they can make and give them the chance, the support, the encouragement to release their creative spirit, even if only for one week every year? This year?
Wouldn’t it be cool to see in everyone the contribution they can make and give them the chance, the support, the encouragement to release their creative spirit, even if only for one week every year? This year?
Imagine if leaders discussing important issues we spurred during this one week to say “It’s World Creativity and Innovation Week, so let’s put on our creative thinking caps to see what else we can consider, and the let us share our brand new thinking with our stakeholders and other interested parties.”
When the intended and other audiences hear the new thinking they respond by using an Angel’s Advocate approach, saying:
- What they like about it (even if they don’t – to stretch their thinking)
- What some future potentials might be (even if they don’t like the idea – to stretch their thinking)
- Their objections and concerns
- And then dialogue together with the idea proposers of ways to overcome obstacles, to change and/or strengthen, and/or replace the idea.
What if during this one week
…School children all over the world were given the same challenge to solve? Wouldn’t it be fascinating to see their unique solutions?
…Municipalities, states, provinces, counties, industries, associations all recognized creative achievements and supported their constituents and members in learning more and exploring their own creativeness?
We all have a capacity to generate new ideas, make new decisions, take new actions and create new outcomes in whatever field we are in, such as dentistry, architecture, culinary, stone masonry, dance, driving truck, forecasting, teaching, you name it. Creativity occurs in the arts and beyond.
Wouldn’t it be cool to unite in our shared creativeness for one week every year?
That week exists. It’s called World Creativity and Innovation Week (wciw).
It begins on Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday, April 15, and continues through to World Creativity and Innovation Day April 21, since 2001.
Please join in; unite in celebrating our creativeness.
Share your unique way of doing so here.
The photos are from a WCIW event last year in Canmore, Alberta, Canada held at artsPlace. Butcher block paper was put on that wall and visitors were invited to ‘give a hand to Canmore’. Each traced his/her hand on the paper using markers and filled the space with a wish for the future. The children particularly enjoyed this, as you can see in the selected photos.
Imagine your plans are less effective than you anticipated. There’s pressure to perform differently, successfully. Conditions have changed; time now to adapt or innovate.
You want to overcome obstacles, use creativity, and creative thinking. You want to access imagination, dream up what could be next, chart a different course, engage interested parties, and marshall resources to achieve results.
You want new outcomes, new ideas, new decisions, new actions.
So, what’s the first thing you do? Perhaps go to experts, listen to what they say. Perhaps you survey others to see if they have the same challenge and how they handle it. Perhaps you listen to podcasts about changes and trends that affect how you operate.
You might call together a group of colleagues to brainstorm insights. You could use a design thinking or other creative problem-solving process to uncover missing gaps from which to gain an advantage. You might look for inefficiencies at the macro and micro levels. Whatever your process, you find something that could work. Brava!
Now, what if, after all your effort, your colleagues use critical thinking first, and say the solution won’t work. End of story. Then what? You might feel dejected, sad, hurt. You might decide you haven’t the courage to do it again, to submit new thinking to solve new problems. You might make up a story about why your ideas weren’t accepted, take it personally or blame others. Your behavior might change as a result in ways that impact your overall performance and attitude towards your organization, your boss, your teammates.
What if instead, your colleagues respond to new ideas in ways that support your creative thinking? Innovation is really about the people involved and how they work together, with the intended audience. Innovation is about people.
One aspect of World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21 is to remember to apply new thinking to new thinking – to discuss and/or hold conversations about new ideas rather than to immediately criticize them.
Here’s a four-step process you can use with colleagues, friends, clients, suppliers, children and other people with whom you regularly interact during WCIW this year. Do this, and you will honor, encourage and help facilitate people’s creative thinking.
You can use the Angel’s Advocate approach:
- Affirm first – say what’s good about the idea (even if you don’t like it – stretch your thinking)
- Future potentials – say what some positive potentials might be for this idea in the long run (even if you don’t like it – stretch your thinking)
- Objections and obstacles – mention your concerns and the idea’s limitations
- Strengthen the relationship – in dialogue, talk about ways to overcome concerns, to strengthen or modify the solution, discuss how well this fits the challenge, and/or problem-solve the findings together.
Share how you are contributing to World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15-21, to help acknowledge, support and release creative energy worldwide.
Scarcity is attractive. Research shows imposed limits motivate people to act: consumers are led to purchase using phrases ‘limited time offer’, ‘ first 30 people get a 30% discount’, and ‘only 100 left’ for example. [Other scarcities such as clean water, nourishing food, arable land, honeybees, and so on are also motivating people to take action.]
Creativity is not scarce. It is common. I was quoted once saying, “if you breathe, you create”. Remove the scarcity of creativity, the common beliefs that some have it, others don’t, or some people are more creative than others, and so on, and creativity may become less attractive. Except…
Creativity signals a restlessness to improve conditions. To explore, discover, experiment, question. We create because we are members of the human race, and the human race is filled with passion.
It’s human nature to use the power of imagination to adapt to and initiate change for the better. Once we have the idea, insight, framework, ability to compare what can be with what used to be, we gather with others to innovate; to make it so.
Celebrate World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15-21 this year, and every year. Share how you’ll be exercising your passion for new, different, better with the world.
Passion Comment adapted from Dead Poet’s Society: We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?
Some people ask for advice on what to do for their World Creativity and Innovation Week 2017 (April 15-21 every year).
“Hm. I’m not sure.” I often reply. Then I ask questions like these.
- What might you do?
- What opportunities present themselves?
- What pet peeves would you like to solve?
- What would you like to experiment with for yourself, your family, your team, your organization, your community that you can use WCIW as an excuse for?
- What’s something different from your day to day routine can you inject during that week?
- What’s something you’ve always wanted to do and haven’t had the chance to get around to doing yet?
If you are not already a @worldcreativity follower, I suggest you become one; different reminders and prompts for celebrating WCIW2017 are offered everyday.
Creative energy abounds. We each have a storehouse of creativity and WCIW is a week to let it loose, let it go for a run, so to speak. To nurture it, welcome it, in yourself and others.
Here’s a game that was made up to help you stir your thinking. Using the letters W C I W, create as many different four-word sentences for what you might do, or others, for World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15-21, this year. #wciwgame to share. Others are already there. First word starts with W, second with C, third with I, fourth with W. See what you can come up with.