Creativity by its nature is a divergent process. The Oxford dictionary talks about divergent thinking as “the avoidance of common limiting assumptions”. In layman’s terms it’s about moving away from our ingrained “mental model”. Opening ourselves to a range of experiences, thoughts, people, ideas, and places. Questioning our assumptions and taking a different approach to see new connections.
And yet, in the always on world we live in, we are typically trained to be “convergent” in our thinking – finding the fastest route, based on existing experience and frameworks to arrive at a solution.
In a 2016 Adobe study titled “State of Create“, 70%, of the 5000 study participants acknowledged that being more creative is valuable to society and economies and that it makes people better workers, leaders and parents. The study highlighted that people who are more creative are happier, feel more fulfilled, energized and successful.
It is interesting then that while creativity is a key capability for happiness and growth in our professional and personal lives, we continue to find comfort in methodologies, frameworks and processes which are convergent, perhaps standard.
Divergence and true creativity come when we immerse ourselves in new and different experiences, throwing away rule books and accepted norms and seeing where the path leads us. In the words of Edward de Bono, we should “break out of our established patterns to bring together unrelated ideas, disparate thoughts and seemingly unrelated concepts and activities”.
The great innovators such as Marconi, Edison and Jobs understood this and their breakthrough ideas come from combining existing elements in a unique way.
So, in developing our creative learning experience, we looked at the most powerful combination of activities to help people break out of these established patterns, explore new ways of thinking and learn skills that could help them lead happier and healthier lives.
Our own personal experiences and academic research led us to weave together four core components, with a common denominator – fun. Each element combines to ease people out of their comfort zone and to build their own creativity. It enables them to connect often disparate ideas and concepts, be inspired by new people and places and learn new skills through immersive, active learning.
Acting – So much of our personal growth and expansion comes from the art of listening and being a more authentic, compelling communicator. Yet many of us are not necessarily active listeners, which can limit our ability to grow through absorbing new ideas and different perspectives. And by growing our ability to be more creative storytellers through the power of words, expressions, movements and sometimes stillness, we learn a better way to share our own stories.
Painting – Understanding how we can create with freedom, without fear of right or wrong, good or bad. Unearthing personal interpretation and perspective and throwing away habitual frameworks. Allowing ourselves to move from communicating with written language to spend time exploring and communicating visually. The journey is one of discovery and the end result is a piece of art that will be a lasting memento of their Creative Cities 21 experience – and often a reminder to continue to embrace what they have learned during their time with us.
Innovation, Ideas & Inspiration – The chance to learn, be inspired and share ideas, whether for new adventures back home, business ideas, or simply ways to live a more creatively fulfilled life. New connections through meeting people with a very different approach or journey, or perhaps kindred spirits that may have taken a different path or are on the same journey of discovery.
Travel – Providing the time to explore the creative heart of an amazing city. Getting to know its people and the opportunity to combine creative learning experiences with activities like yoga, pilates or perhaps enjoying a range of culinary, sporting or cultural highlights.
By escaping everyday routines and surroundings and operating in a relaxed, expansive and inspiring environment, people are able to breakthrough existing thought patterns, to explore and play – learning, connecting and having great fun along the way.
We’d love you to join us and feel the benefits of how our 5-day creative learning experience could help you feel happier, healthier and more connected.
Creative Cities 21 re-energises people through 5-day creative learning experiences in great cities of the world. By combining the benefits of acting, painting, innovation & travel, we ignite your creativity, helping you realise your personal and professional potential. Find out more about our 2019 programs at www.creativecities21.com