Creativity in America is on life support.
When asked to identify our creative friends, we’re quick to single out the illustrator or writer in the group, and rarely think of the engineer or manager. But in reality, our creativity is less defined by our profession than by our DNA. We are all hard-wired to be creative. Regardless of what we spend our days doing, creativity is a much more important part of our lives than many of us realize.
Being creative is simply having the ability to make or imagine new things, or to see new potential in existing things, that solve for known or unknown problems. Overtly, it manifests as great illustrations, compelling works of fiction and timeless fashion collections, but it also hides in routine daily problem solving. When we restrict creativity to the traditional confines of the pages of fiction or gallery walls, we fail to see the broad and profound impact that creativity has in everything we do. In reality, every cultural, economic, political and scientific discipline would be strengthened by an infusion of creativity.
Because we oversimplify the impact of creativity, we under invest in advancing it through our traditional institutions. As a result, creativity in America is in dramatic decline. In a study where nearly 300,000 Americans (adults and children) were administered the Torrance Test (essentially the SAT for creativity), educational psychologist Kyung Hee Kim discovered creativity levels in America are dropping dramatically. For more than 20 years, America’s creative light has been dimming at an alarming rate. Creativity drives the creation of new business and is the fuel for innovation. This decline is not something we can simply sweep under the rug and simply hope for the best.
For more than 20 years, America’s creative light has been dimming at an alarming rate.
So how might we right this ship? Viktor Venson, a passionate creative education advocate, believes we must start with our schools. After surviving a nearly fatal car accident as a pedestrian, Viktor founded No Right Brain Left Behind, an organization committed to generating breakthrough innovations that bring creativity into classrooms. In 2011 Viktor challenged an industry known for its creativity - Advertising, to re-imagine education. This challenge inspired dozens of incredible solutions that turned into impactful projects in classrooms around the country. For his next innovation challenge, Viktor has partnered with Green Dot schools to transform a high-school library into a makerspace where students can embrace failure and focus on co-creation. To learn more about the challenge and dive in, visit www.rightbrainsare.us/.
What keeps you up at night?
My neighbor's dogs.
What caused you to start? What was your aha! moment and what were the circumstances surrounding it?
A car knocking some sense into me on PCH. As a pedestrian. At 60MPH.
In 50 years, I hope the world....
will find metrics and ways to measure what matters. That's the only way we will be able to build and scale the solutions we need to sustain life on this planet.
When you’re completely overwhelmed, what do you do to reorient, recharge or reinspire yourself?
I really love going out in the desert. It has an incredible regenerative force.
What is the one thing someone can do right now to help your mission?
Create a peer to peer campaign to help raise awareness, gain momentum, and raise funding to revive and transform libraries. More info around this will be provided
Creativity drives the creation of new business and is the fuel for innovation.
70% percent of US students believe the their education is stifling their creativity
Creativity scores and IQ scores had been rising until 1990. Since then, creativity scores have consistently inched downward.
A recent IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as the No. 1 “leadership competency” of the future.