Thinking Outside the Box–Literally

Image by Paul Lim*

We’ve all heard the advice, “Think outside the box,” but now, thanks to a team of researchers, the cliché takes on a whole new, literal meaning. In a Times op-ed piece, three scholars of management and organizations—two from the University of Michigan, one from New York University (NYU)—reveal their compelling new findings about creativity. The writers indicate a direct correlation between people’s physical experiences and their ability to come up with fresh ideas and solutions.

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LCI to Join WNET Celebration of Teaching & Learning on March 16

In three weeks, more than 10,000 North American educators will converge on the Hilton New York for WNET’s seventh annual Celebration of Teaching & Learning. The Celebration is a major professional development conference that includes over 40 featured speakers and 100 interactive workshops, as well as two exhibition halls full of education resources. This year, as in 2011, I’ll have the privilege of presenting there, on a panel with Madeleine Holzer, director of educational development at Lincoln Center Institute, and 2010 National Teacher of the Year Sarah Wessling.

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Story Starters—A Deck of Cards for the Young Imagination

In our book Imagination First, Eric Liu and I write about Oblique Strategies, a deck of cards created by musician Brian Eno in 1975: “Each of the over one hundred cards contains what Eno calls ‘a worthwhile dilemma’—a concise, cryptic prompt….meant to give direction.” Today, I bring news of another novel deck of cards, this one aimed at children: the Spark Your Imagination Story Starters.

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NASA Looks to Americans for Aerospace Innovation

Eric Liu and I write about “challenge awards” in our book, Imagination First—prizes offered to people for accomplishing a stated task or solving a given problem. We point out the value of deliberately open-ended challenges, which create more room for bold and unexpected ideas to emerge. The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program’s recent call for proposals is a perfect example.

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Harvard Innovation Lab Opens Today

Image by j.gresham*

Today marks the launch of Harvard University’s Innovation Lab, or i-lab, in Boston. In the press release, Harvard President Drew Faust describes it as “a bridge between imagination and implementation,” evoking Lincoln Center Institute (LCI’s) concept of the ICI Continuum (Imagination –> Creativity –> Innovation). So what does this new institution, another example of higher education’s recent efforts to promote these capacities, actually look like?

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Who’s Afraid of Creativity?

Image by Ian Burt*

The Halloween season calls to mind things that frighten us (or, at least, our inner children): ghosts, goblins, haunted houses, witches, creativity. “Wait a minute,” you say. “Creativity?” Yes, according to new research, many people fear creativity and also have trouble recognizing it, whether or not they realize this.

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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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