Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Sir Ken Robinson, Daniel Pink and David Pogue the Creativity World Forum #cwf2010

These are my notes from Sir Ken Robinson‘s presentation at the 2010 Creativity World Forum in Oklahoma City. Sir Ken is part of our morning panel along with Dan Pink and David Pogue. My notes from their panel discussion after Ken’s remarks are also included.

Sir Ken Robinson at the Creativity World Forum

We are living in times of revolution
– our children are facing challenges which they are not prepared for and neither are we

if we are to meet these challenges, we have to think very differently about ourselves and our organizations

It amazes me so many adults don’t think they are creative, don’t have many talents
– a lot of people don’t enjoy what they do, they just do their work and wait for the weekend

Story of talking with a musical performer and saying, I wish I could play like that
– He said: I’ve been playing since I was five, I practice five hours per day, I play six evenings a week, I do it because I love it
– I do it because I love it
– “I think what you mean is, you like the idea of it”

I don’t mind talking on an airplane when we are landing
– I would much rather regret the five hour conversation we didn’t have, than the one we did
– On a flight to Hong Kong (18 hours) I talked with a professional pool player, as a kid she discovered pool (Abel Lawrence)
– she said, “If you are doing something that you love, your energy changes and you go into a different place.”

I think this is a spiritual thing, it is about connecting with your soul and true north
– you can tell because time changes

Terrence Tao now teaches at UCLA
– when he was 3 he taught himself to read watching “Sesame Street”
– 20 got PhD in pure mathematics
– Terrence gets math in a way I never did

Story of my daughter bringing home a worksheet of quadratic equations
Cartoon of a daughter bringing home a work

Human talent is tremendously diverse
Creative agenda in education
– our system is obsessed with a particular TYPE of ability
– this leads to alienation for many in the educational process

Education system has misconceptions about creativity and narrow conceptions of intelligence
– technology is changing the world in revolutionary ways
– changes are STILL coming down the pike which will

We have 7 billion people on the earth, that’s more people than have EVER lived her before
– we have to make the equation balance
– complex, uncertain, and highly challenging situation

Creativity: one of 3 terms
1- imagination: the power to bring to mind things that are not present
– the 1 capacity that distinguishes us from all other live on earth (our dependency on each, our organic natures, many things make us similar to other organisms, but not creativity)
– it is putting your creativity to work, applying your creativity to some task or enterprise
– creativity is not evident in other creatures like it is in humans
– dogs may get depressed but they don’t play the blues,

creativity is practical
– you can teach it
– it relies on certain conditions to help it blossom

We are missing Bart Connor today
– Bart was born in Illinois
– found at the age of 6 he could walk on his hands as easily as on his feet, including walking on stairs
– at that point it wasn’t much use, but he was in demand at parties of all sorts

when Bart was 8, his mom took him to the gym
– he says that was intoxicating: ropes, balance
– like disneyland and Santa’s house all in once place

is that how you feel when you walk into a gymnasium?
– he went every day
– 10 years later he represented the US in the Olympics

Bart and his wife Nadia

His mom could have said at 8, “Get over the hands thing. We’re done with it.”
– instead she chose to encourage and support his aptitude

To be good at something is not enough
– to be in your element you have to love it

it is a combination of aptitude and passion

Bart’s mom could not have foreseen the journey he was going to on

Life is not linear
– the problem is our education system is, but our lives are not
– to be alive is a creative process

to be a human being is to be creative, to be alive is to be on a crative journey
– we live the composition we write if we have the tools

many people are detached from their natural capacities and their sense of purpose
– this happens in companies and in schools

what drives people is often not apparent to them, their organizations, and others around them

This is fundamentally about ourselves as individuals and collectively

karl Young line: “Whatever you’ve done in your life doesn’t matter, it’s what choose to do

I am not what has happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”

We have a lot of choices, and we need to consider them carefully.


Dan Pink, David Pogue, Sir Ken Robinson

Ken telling about the factory model of education
– educating people
– objects have no interest in how they are made, but people made
– education has to be personal, everyone here knows this
– the people who inspired you as a teacher were the best
– education is radically personal

Dan Pink:
– The economy is no longer about standardization and right answers, yet that is still the focus of our schools
– a lot of the policies we have in schools are designed for the convenience of adults, rather than what is best for kids
– standardized tests are an example

If you want to really assess people at a level that is truly helpful, it might cost more money. It might be messy.
We’re putting teens on buses in my school district in the DC area because that’s convenient for the bus system and athletic coaches

David Pogue
– story about Palm company, once you hire one idiot they hire more….

David challenges Dan on the “carrot and stick” message, and challenging these counter-intuitive ideas
– do they have a chance of succeeding

Sir Ken: Anyone who knows kids, has kids or has been a kid
– we are driven by feelings and ideas
– ideas can change our lives
– everyone can point to a teacher who encouraged or discouraged them at the right time
– there is no contradiction here
– I am not against standardized testing
– If I have a medical condition, I want some standardized information (not the cholester

standardized testing has become the purpose of the entire enterprise, not an instrument to serve us
– we don’t raise performance in education by reducing morale

Sir Ken: Talking about Oklahoma A+ Schools
– you shouldn’t get beyond the fact that any great school is never better than its teachers and principal
– there are wonderful schools in many countries
– there are real examples, not just theoretical ideas

Dan Pink
– if you look from a 30K level it’s easy to get depressed
– look at specific examples of people who are doing heroic things, we have reasons to be optimistic
– we have lots of ingenuity as human beings
– we make progress 1 conversation at a time, 1 person at a time

Ken: there IS a movement here, a shift in the Zeitgeist
– we need to be a part of this movement

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3 responses to “Sir Ken Robinson, Daniel Pink and David Pogue the Creativity World Forum #cwf2010”

  1. David McGavock Avatar

    Thanks for offering this overview of the panel discussion Wes and spreading the word on creativity, individuality, and thinking/doing different.

  2. Jennifer Bond Avatar
    Jennifer Bond

    Thank-you so much! Since hearing about this wonderful conference when you were at the MACUL TLC, I have been interested in this conference. I am so glad that you are sharing these great ideas for better learning!

  3. University Canada Avatar

    This conference is very useful for us and also very fantastic conference..Thanks a lot..