State of Creativity Forum 2013


Tuesday, November 19


Doing the Innovation Mash: The magic of concept blending
Gregg Fraley, Author, Jack's Notebook

Doing the Innovation Mash: a tutorial on concept blending to create breakthrough products and services.

Academic experts and innovation practitioners agree that a fast path to breakthrough innovation is “concept blending”.  Otherwise known as Mash-Ups, blending two never-before-combined concepts is how very new things are created. For instance, who would imagine that blending the concept of a potato field with a display screen could lead to the invention of television? It did. Even simple new combinations of a company's existing products and services can often be quite effective. For instance, combining natural insect repellants into fabric to create an anti-mosquito shirt. The good news is concept blends work -- the bad news is the average person doesn’t normally think that way. This session will scaffold your thinking. You’ll learn how to break down concepts, give yourself more dots to connect, and this helps your mind make innovation connections. Anybody can do the Innovation Mash—you just have to know the steps.
Join Gregg Fraley of KILN USA for this interactive session.

Gregg Fraley

Bridge to Design Thinking
Hans Butzer, Mabrey Presidential Professor, University of Oklahoma College of Architecture
Stan Carroll, Beyond Metal
Chris Ramseyer, Director, Fears Structural Engineering Laboratory

The workshop explores the notion of design thinking through the iterative process of building up ideas for the Skydance Bridge concept, and explicating how these were developed and eventually formulated into the final built manifestation.

Hans Butzer

Stan Carroll

Chris Ramseyer

Perspectives on the Creative Economy across North America
George Tzougros, Chair, National Creativity Network Board, Executive Director, Wisconsin Arts Board
Helena Fruscio, Creative Economy Industry Director, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Christine Harris, Christine Harris Connections
Jeff Melanson, President, The Banff Centre

The National Creativity Network (NCN), Creative Alliance Milwaukee, and the Creative Economy Coalition, a working group of the NCN, released a report in August 2013 on America’s Creative Economy. Panelists will creatively respond to a number of issues the report raises as well as describing challenges and opportunities in their local environs and across North America.

George Tzougros

Helena Fruscio

Christine Harris

Jeff Melanson

Little Bets + Black Sheep = This revolution will be improvised
Peter Sims, Co-Founder/Director, Fuse Corps

The world is being disrupted by globalization and technology, and the traditional ways of doing things are increasingly ill-equipped to solve the problems. What will fill the gaps — in government, business, and culture? It all begins with little bets: small, affordable risks taken to discover problems, needs, and opportunities in order to find big bets. What do Apple CEO Steve Jobs, comedian Chris Rock, prize-winning architect Frank Gehry, and the story developers at Pixar films all have in common? They all rely upon a mindset of making small bets when doing something new, and they’re all also “black sheep” — willing to challenge conventional wisdom and be understood, often for long periods of time, in order to invent new approaches in their own lives and for society. The world needs a creative renaissance led by courageous BLK SHP, who get sh*t done and solve problems quickly and creatively. Are you a black sheep? This revolution will be improvised.

“Black Sheep” Inspired by Brad Bird, director at Pixar who said: “Give us the black sheep. I want artists who are frustrated. I want the ones who have another way of doing things that nobody’s listening to. Give us all the guys who are probably headed out the door.” A lot of them were malcontents because they saw different ways of doing things, but there was little opportunity to try them, since the established way was working very, very well. We gave the black sheep a chance to prove their theories, and we changed the way a number of things are done here.”

Peter Sims

The Bridge to ReBuilding a Country
Justine Rukeba Mbabazi, Author, This is Your Time, Rwanda

Imagine a world where the life clock stops; everything around you turns into a complete darkness; but you must bring back the light; for you and for others. The voice tells you that you are a part of the team that holds the key to bring life again.  A conversation about rebuilding Rwanda after genocide is often told with painted pictures referenced from World Bank and IMF statistics.  The untold real story is how ordinary Rwandans solved the puzzle of lifting themselves from ashes of genocide to prosperity. Rwanda continues to lead the world as the safest country in the world, cleanest in Africa, zero tolerance for corruption with 63% women majority in Parliament and 65% women in judicially. The story serves as a model of how ordinary people have the power to turn a utopia world into a reality. Rwanda was transformed in less than 20 years. Innovation to rebuild the nation takes the power of one.  You and I have the power to make a world a better place.  How can this tremendous success story of the tiny county be used as positive human potential to rebuild other nations?

Justine Mbabzi