Boredom and Creativity

Boredom and Creativity

When is the last time you were bored? And, what did you do about it? Day dream? Leisurely observe the world? Or, like most of us, fill your time with a structured activity? Recent studies on boredom and creativity suggest that boredom can

Design Thinking in Preschool

Design Thinking in Preschool

Design thinking — a dynamic and fluid iterative approach to problem solving has captured the imagination of educators and kids alike with its emphasis on the intuitive creativity we all remember from childhood. I wondered if our tiniest students, preschoolers

The world in general disapproves of creativity

The world in general disapproves of creativity

“The world in general disapproves of creativity,” wrote Isaac Asimov. In a 1959 letter to a team of scientists at MIT, the great science fiction writer advised his colleagues to prepare themselves for disapproval. Creative ideas would appear outlandish and

Reimagining 21st Century Philanthropy

Reimagining 21st Century Philanthropy

Here’s a mantra for reimagining 21st century philanthropy: we can’t solve today’s problems with yesterday’s logic.  Although the basis of 20th century American philanthropy was citizen altruism, a combination of top down management and exclusive grant making made possible its achievements.

Creativity is a skill, not a mighty mystery

Creativity is a skill, not a mighty mystery

Thinking about creativity as a skill, not a mighty mystery, makes it accessible to all of us. Too many people still think of creativity as a mystery — the exclusive property of the very intellectually gifted or a bolt of

Speaking Up for Women and Girls

Speaking Up for Women and Girls

Interest in women and girls and tangible actions to improve their lives continue to gain momentum. More and more people are speaking up for women and girls — and pursuing innovative ideas to enhance their economic security, education, health and

Photograph tells secret

Photograph tells secret

A photograph is a secret about a secret.  The more it tells you the less you know.                            — Diane Arbus Sometimes a pain is so deep that

D-Day Design Innovation “won the war for us”

D-Day Design Innovation “won the war for us”

I recently spent a peaceful day on Omaha Beach in Normandy, a bucolic picture of French country life on the coast. It was difficult to imagine the scene on June 6, 1944 when a landing craft called the LCVP (landing

Creativity Across Cultures

Creativity Across Cultures

Creativity across cultures is increasingly important in the 21st century. U.S. employers rate creativity as one of the top five skills that will increase in importance during the next five years. The specific role of culture in creativity is still

The Golden Chain of Innovation: the story of the railway

The Golden Chain of Innovation: the story of the railway

Most innovations do not come about through a solitary burst of inspiration. Rather, new breakthroughs are usually links in a golden chain of innovation.  Individuals and teams connect seemingly unrelated inventions and practices, repositioning them by asking new questions that