Imagination Conversation Report: Denver Botanic Gardens, Colorado

Image ©Scott Dressel-Martin

The Colorado Imagination Conversation on October 20 was held in a beautiful local space that embodied the ideas explored at the event: the Denver Botanic Gardens. Host organization Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) is a division of the state’s Office of Economic Development that aims to, among other things, “increase access to … creativity skills in P-20 education and workforce development.” Upon arrival, audience members were treated to guided tours of the Gardens’ inspiring exhibit of works by 20th-century British sculptor Henry Moore. The ensuing Conversation featured panelists ranging from acclaimed novelist David Milofsky to Lara Merriken, inventor of popular energy bar LÄRABAR—yet another example of imagination’s impact across disparate professional fields.

CCI Executive Director Elaine Mariner reports that the topics covered by the participants included: imagination’s innateness in everyone; the danger that external influences such as parents, teachers, and peers may squelch imagination; and the importance of surrounding oneself with positive and encouraging people rather than naysayers and non-believers. “We had a capacity crowd,” Mariner notes, “and the audience was very engaged and pleased with the depth and diversity of the views that were expressed.” Video of the Conversation will be available soon on the Web site of official government station Denver 8 TV.

UPDATE 1/3/11: The video of the Denver Imagination Conversation is now available from the Denver 8 TV Online Video page–look for “Imagination Conversation” under the “Featured” tab.

Click here to view all of the Imagination Conversation Reports.

The What, Why and How of Imagination — Advocacy in Action!

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Eric Liu speaking at the Washington State Workforce and Economic Development Conference

When you get the advocates for workforce development and advocates for economic development working together, notes Imagination Now featured blogger Eric Liu, what you get is a combined effort that is greater than the sum of its parts—non-zero math where 1 + 1 = 3. Last week Eric delivered the keynote address at the Washington State 2009 Workforce and Economic Development Conference, discussing the primacy of imagination within the Imagination > Creativity > Innovation continuum and responding to participants’ questions. Breaking innovation down to the “what,” “why,” and “how,” this discussion made a great springboard for the conversations, both formal and informal, that took place over the next two days.

Watch a video of the opening session, which includes Eric’s keynote (time signature 29:33).