Ten Innovators to Follow on Twitter

For this installment in the Twitter series I have identified ten individuals who actively apply their imagination and creativity to change our world through development of innovative products and initiatives. Why do I call them innovators instead of inventors? By using the word “innovation” I hope to convey that they are pioneers in their field. Each has built upon existing principles and ideas to create something so different that it can be considered truly “new.” Innovation happens in all areas, sometimes with a small step and in other instances through a giant leap. The following individuals are all on Twitter sharing their journey in 140 words or less. Could you have guessed that someone would develop a process to “grow” clothes from bacterial culture? I didn’t. Take a look below for some more surprising work in range of industries. Continue reading

Ten Creative Doers to Follow on Twitter

We are entering an age when creativity will become increasingly important. Our world is transformed by those who can turn great ideas into real, tangible products and initiatives. Applying imaginative thinking skills to create something new is no small task, but there are quite a few people who do it over and over again, tapping into their creative potential. In the second installment of the 10 Twitterers series, I have identified ten individuals who actively apply their imaginations to create something. These “creative doers” aren’t only the typically thought of visual artists. These creators range from filmmakers to fundraisers to industrial designers, illustrating that the creative capacity manifests itself in many different forms. Unifying the group is their Twitter participation, documenting and sharing their creative journeys in 140 words or less. Go ahead and read their posts, it might provide some insight into their creative process and hopefully it will inspire you to unleash your own creativity. Continue reading

Lincoln Center Institute’s Capacities for Imaginative Learning

Image by Nancy Bareis

A growing number of blog visitors have been seeking information about Lincoln Center Institute‘s Capacities for Imaginative Learning.

LCI has created the Capacities for Imaginative Learning as a framework for student learning, applicable to the Common Core Standards across the curriculum. The Capacities operate as both strategies for, and outcomes of, study according to LCI’s practice.

The Capacities for Imaginative Learning are:

Noticing Deeply to identify and articulate layers of detail in a work of art or other object of study through continuous interaction with it over time.

Embodying to experience a work of art or other object of study through your senses, as well as emotionally, and also to physically represent that experience.

Questioning to ask questions throughout your explorations that further your own learning; to ask the question, “What if?”

Making Connections to connect what you notice and the patterns you see to your prior knowledge and experiences, to others’ knowledge and experiences, and to text and multimedia resources.

Identifying Patterns to find relationships among the details that you notice, group them, and recognize patterns.

Exhibiting Empathy to respect the diverse perspectives of others in the community; to understand the experiences of others emotionally, as well as intellectually.

Living with Ambiguity to understand that issues have more than one interpretation, that not all problems have immediate or clear-cut solutions, and to be patient while a resolution becomes clear.

Creating Meaning to create your own interpretations based on the previous capacities, see these in the light of others in the community, create a synthesis, and express it in your own voice.

Taking Action to try out new ideas, behaviors or situations in ways that are neither too easy nor too dangerous or difficult, based on the synthesis of what you have learned in your explorations.

Reflecting/Assessing to look back on your learning, continually assess what you have learned, assess/identify what challenges remain, and assess/identify what further learning needs to happen. This occurs not only at the end of a learning experience, but is part of what happens throughout that experience. It is also not the end of your learning; it is part of beginning to learn something else.

Click here to download a copy of LCI’s Capacities for Imaginative Learning (pdf)

Ten Imaginative Thinkers to Follow on Twitter

“What is the root of creativity and how can we unlock the power of imaginative thinking?” Here at Lincoln Center Institute we think about this question quite often. We turn to books and Web resources to gain insight into the subject, with authors discussing the latest theories in cognition, creative problem solving, and intrinsic motivation. After compiling a list of some of our favorite authors I noticed that quite a few of them are actually talking about this subject on a daily basis. So I have put together a list of these authors who are exploring the concept of imaginative thinking in their work—and in their lives—and posting about it on Twitter.

Twitter is a valuable tool that should not be overlooked! This social network creates communities through shared interests, and can help you connect with people and exchange ideas instantaneously. So take a glimpse at some of these imaginative thinkers and see what they are up to, what is inspiring them, and what they have to say at this very moment. I have also included a recommended book by each author, in case you wish to explore their theories in more detail. Continue reading

The “ICI Continuum”: Imagination, Creativity, and Innovation

I noticed recently that a number of readers had arrived at the Imagination Now site hoping to learn more about the imagination-creativity-innovation continuum, something that Scott Noppe-Brandon speaks about often and something that comes up frequently as a topic of discussion during the Imagination Conversations happening around the country. To help satisfy that curiosity, here is an explication of the concept that might serve as a foundation for your own further discussion or investigation:

“We define imagination simply as the capacity to conceive of what is not—something that, as far as we know, does not exist; or something that may exist but we simply cannot perceive, It is the ability to conjure new realities and possibilities: in John Dewey’s words, ‘to look at things as if they would be otherwise.’…

“If imagination is the capacity to conceive of what is not, then creativity, in turn, is imagination applied: doing something, or making something, with that initial conception. But not all acts of creativity are inherently innovative. In our view, innovation comes when an act of creativity has somehow advanced the form….

“Imagination → Creativity (imagination applied) → Innovation (novel creativity)”

Liu, Eric, and Scott Noppe-Brandon. Imagination First: Unlocking the Power of Possibility. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2009, p. 19-20.

The Role of Imagination in Magic


By Eric Walton

Eric Walton in Esoterica

This is the second in our ongoing series of Guest Blogger entries.

It is no secret that magic is an art-form based largely upon secrets—secret moves, secret apparatus, secret intentions. If the presentation of magic is to be successful, the magician must know something that the spectator does not and he must keep that something a secret for as long as he can.

But a secret isn’t the same as a lie.

A lie is the deliberate misrepresentation of the truth, perpetrated in order to gain some advantage, generally a malicious one. A lie is always told with the intent to deceive, whereas a secret is merely the concealment of the truth or some aspect of it and may or may not involve the will to mislead. I may have a secret tattoo of Genghis Khan on the sole of my foot, but you are unlikely to consider yourself deceived if I fail to disclose the fact when we first meet.

And while we magicians must sometimes resort to overt lying in order to present our tricks successfully, most of the deception on which we rely is not in the form of lies that we tell our audiences, but in the fabrications and confabulations that take place within the minds of the spectators themselves. The magician orchestrates a series of “experiential voids” which audience members consciously and unconsciously fill with their own expectations, assumptions and interpretations. Thus, audience members are not so much the victims of the magician’s deception, as they are both witting and unwitting accomplices in it. Continue reading

The Journey to A Buddha State of Mind

By Paula Boggs

This is the first in a series of guest blogger posts. We are honored that Paula has agreed to blog for Imagination Now.

Image by Randee S. Fox

I recently introduced my new CD A Buddha State of Mind to the world by hosting a release party at Experience Music Project in Seattle, Washington. Though it may seem obvious, I really had to “imagine” creating a CD before taking the first steps in actually co-producing one. A big part of that was, of course, convincing myself that I could actually do it! Though I started writing music and playing guitar as a child, I stopped in my late 20s and really thought I’d moved on…too busy with other things. Many years later I was inspired to write again and play music but the journey from there to A Buddha State of Mind on iTunes was not obvious. I have a full-time job as a corporate executive and many competing demands on any given day. A songwriting coach encouraged me to keep writing and performing; a voice coach inspired me to work hard and along the way, over a period of years; I met amazing musicians who loved my music and, importantly, liked spending time with me. Patience, a measure of humility, a positive network of people who helped me dream big, a talented producer who “got” my music, a supportive work environment, and the crucial first step of a metaphysical space where “imagine” was possible were all crucial to my gaining confidence that I could make something artistic and enduring. I have learned a lot.

A Buddha State of Mind takes the listener on a journey that explores a range of human emotion and is genre-defying. In that sense, the CD journey mirrors my life’s emotional arc and the discomfort I often have with labels. And, the “journey” is not linear. The CD starts with its title track, a song with a wry sense of humor, and ends with the artsy rock song, “Original Sin.” As bookends, both songs reflect well my sense of the possible while exposing a vulnerability that, for some, and for me personally, has only come with age. Along the way, the listener meets songs reflecting imperfect love and stories of soulful and sometimes funny observation. The CD is bound by the lead vocals, melodies that stick and its musicianship. As one internet radio fan put it: “An enigmatic, original voice with great feeling, this artist’s best work is ahead of her. I hope she can find a place in an empty soulless music industry of today. A female Leonard Cohen? I think so and I mean that as a compliment.” For a habitual “control freak” like myself, learning to trust others to show up for a rehearsal, interpret my creations as I heard them in my head, perform them with passion, and accept that in some cases someone else had a better idea all enabled me to imagine an “end state” where music and performance joined in a CD ready for prime time.

Recording artist Paula Boggs recently launched her debut CD, A Buddha State of Mind. She leads the global law department of Starbucks Coffee Company, and serves on the boards of Johns Hopkins University and the American Red Cross. Paula’s approach to songwriting is featured in the book Imagination First.