Disney Funds Creative Education in China

Image by ToGa Wanderings*

Disney is at it again. In 2011, The Walt Disney Company co-sponsored America’s Imagination Summit, the major education event that Lincoln Center Institute held here in New York City. Now Disney has announced that it will donate $1.6 million to support the United Nations Children’s Fund and China’s Ministry of Education, as they work to enhance the education—and creativity—of young people in China. I applaud the organization’s depth of commitment.

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LCI Talks to Arts Schools Network Conference

Today I had the honor of addressing the Arts School Network’s annual conference, held this year in Florida. (Alas, I spoke via Skype, so I wasn’t able to enjoy the Sunshine State’s weather.) ASN is a professional association of arts school leaders, with over 300 members worldwide, so this was a great opportunity for me to engage with a large gathering of arts educators. The organization’s executive director, Kristy Callaway, asked me to talk about Lincoln Center Institute’s (LCI’s) imagination initiatives.

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The Imagination Network

Image by Jane Hoffer

What do Disney, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), and the U.S. Army have in common? Representatives from all three organizations appeared at America’s Imagination Summit, the education event that Lincoln Center Institute (LCI) hosted in New York City this past July. Their presence was not arbitrary; rather, I believe that the dynamic intersection of such diverse influencers can lead to change in our country’s schools.

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Jefferson Innovation Summit Held in Virginia in October

Image by Alex E. Proimos*

The Jefferson Innovation Summit, hosted by the Batten Institute, part of the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, happened in Charlottesville on October 11 and 12, and although it was separated from Lincoln Center Institute’s (LCI’s) Imagination Summit by almost three months, the two events are clearly linked by their respective topics. In large measure, the purpose of both was, as Jefferson’s website puts it, to bring together “the brightest minds in business, government, academia, media, and the arts to talk about creating and sustaining a society of entrepreneurs and innovators.” And both summits were a success.

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Nurturing the Next Steve Jobs

Image by Ben Stanfield*

Steve Jobs’s death on October 5 has sparked a public conversation about the personal qualities that enabled his astounding innovations and successes. Gene Pinder, writing for the North Carolina-based News and Observer, singles out one factor: Jobs “joined his love for the humanities and art with steely analytical thinking and discipline. Both served him well, and it should remind us all that one without the other fails to maximize the highest levels of human potential.” (For more on this point, see Walter Isaacson’s recent New York Times opinion piece.)

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Imagination Lesson Plans Now Available on Curriki

As reported over on Lincoln Center Institute’s (LCI’s) website, LCI’s Imagination Lesson Plans are now available for download on Curriki! You may recall that we announced our new partnership with Curriki, the leading online community for educators around the globe, at America’s Imagination Summit in July. This week marks the official launch of LCI’s Curriki group, which currently offers two sets of Imagination Lesson Plans for the use of K-12 teachers everywhere. More will be uploaded soon.

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Imagination: The Greatest Problem Solver

Image by IICD*

When hurricane Irene hit, we instinctively looked to the individuals and organizations whom we admire for their imaginative strength to do something practical, something that would instantly come to the aid of those in need, without speeches, without philosophical observations, without ideological investment in the future. Something practical—now.

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