The Bright Emporium (STS & Book Launches)

Creating A Cure for the Modern World — Are You up to the Job?

Definition of Creativity: The use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness. (Oxford Dictionary)

Synonyms for Creativity: inventiveness, imagination, originality, individuality, artistry, expressiveness, inspiration, vision, resourcefulness and ingenuity (Oxford Thesaurus)

 

Who knew creativity was code for so many qualities we hold in such high regard? Words that wouldn’t go a-miss when describing a CEO like Steve Jobs, an Entrepreneur like Elon Musk, or a pioneer like Arianna Huffington. But how important is creativity to our children and what is considered a creative activity?

Creativity spans every discipline; not just the arts, but science, maths and engineering all utilise the skills that a creative brings.

What is Creativity?

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things” Steve Jobs

Scientifically, creativity is built on two steps. Divergent thinking: Freely seeing things in more than one way, questioning something that is, and thinking of other possible ways it could be.
Step two: Convergence: Distilling these ideas down to one that fits best with reasoning, context and experience. When summarised like this it’s clear that being creative has some merits.

Children inherently see the world in a creative way. They have a vivid imagination and limited boundaries to their thought processes. We should harness this strength, nurture and encourage it, because as Whitney Houston said; children are our future.

Why is creativity important?

Well if we haven’t convinced you yet, maybe Stamford Professor Paul Romer can.

…Great advances have always come from ideas. Ideas do not fall from the sky; they come from people. People write the software. People design the products. People start the new businesses. Every new thing that gives us pleasure or productivity or convenience, be it an iPod or the tweaks that make a chemical plant more efficient, is the result of human ingenuity”

Unsurprisingly the last word, ingenuity, is a synonym of creativity.

But there are other skills that arise and are nurtured through the creative process:

Resilience: Just because we have a good idea doesn’t mean it will work, but approaching things in a creative manner allows us to find a way around the problems, flex the idea and adjust it to make it work.

Problem solving: Often the catalyst that sparks creativity, it in turn becomes another skill.

Self Expression: Encouraging children to take a creative approach helps them to express their individuality as well as to listen to and be accepting of others.

What is happening?

If creativity is really so important, why are we systematically removing ‘creative’ subjects from the school syllabus and focusing on just the three R’s — reading, writing and arithmetic (we are as puzzled as you as to why only one of these really begins with ‘r’). To discuss this more I want to hand you over to Sir Ken Robinson — who until recently held the record for the most watched TED talk of all time: ‘Do schools kill creativity?’

 

We sympathise with schools and teachers; they work within the confines of a curriculum that is skewed away from creativity. But seeing as the Bright Emporium doesn’t have to answer to a syllabus or targets we want to do our bit in bringing creativity back. We are championing creativity for what it is — an advantage for children and in turn all of us. The Bright Emporium is on a mission to inspire generations of creators, not users. Come and join us!