Creativity For a Better World

Often individuals and communities of the developing countries are capable of finding creative solutions because of the absence of limits implied by the educational institutions. Therefore, many recent books, such as “Creative Schools”, “Weapons of mass instruction”, “I love learning; I hate school”, and “The one world schoolhouse”, have taken a different approach to the system of education through singular analysis and suggestions for the future of teaching and learning.

However, the standard line analysed in these books is the involution of the educational institutions which haven’t been able to cope with the pace of innovation. Each research quoted above find agreement in the fact that the majority of teaching practices repress creativity in the classroom, pretending all students to follow the policy of the modern world associated with the assembly line.

Prince Ea, a famous rapper in YouTube, has recently performed in a video went viral where he takes on Tribune the modern schooling and “accuse them of killing creativity, individuality and being intellectually abusive” (Ea, 2016) in an opening statement to a jury. He quotes Albert Einstein: “Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live it’s all life believing that it is stupid” (Ea, 2016). Later he states that modern day schooling “not only makes fish climb trees but also makes them climb down” (Ea, 2016). Prince shortly compares the school of the past with the present ones and proves that, unlike mobile phones and cars, it has endured being identical.

Ea summarises some of the focal points of the books cited above throughout his social single. He focuses on the murder of creativity within a scholastic system that trains youth toward individualism and competition, and prepare students to work in factories. Hence students are put in straight roles “nice and neat” (Ea, 2016) and have to “raise their hands to speak, use a short break to eat and for eight hours a day tell them what to think” (Ea, 2016). The world has now progressed, and the educational system should be the first to prepare future generations to “think creatively, critically, innovatively, independently and with the ability to connect” (Ea, 2016).

The debate around the current educational system is asserting the inefficiency of the methods taken by modern schooling to prepare new generations for the global future changes. Perez’s (2002-2009) framework asserts that “progress in capitalism takes place by going through various successive great surges of development which are driven by successive technological revolutions” (Kostakis and Bauwens, 2014, pp. 4). Between the installation period of new technologies and the deployment period of the latter, we find the “Turning Point” (Perez 2002-2009 cited in Kostakis and Bauwens, 2014, pp. 6), which is a period of economic crises after the automatic introduction of new technologies to the markets that cannot cope with the sudden change because of the unknown properties of this entities. For instance, the financial crises in 2007-08, was the market reaction toward “the easy liquidity bubble, based on financial innovations accelerated by the new technologies” (Perez 2002-2009 cited in Kostakis and Bauwens, 2014, pp. 6) such as the internet. The latter gave rise to the Internet Mania which ended in the NASDAQ collapse in 2000(Perez 2002-2009 cited in Kostakis and Bauwens, 2014).

Therefore, we are currently observing a “structural shift in social economic context to allow for continued [economic] growth” (Perez 2002-2009 cited in Kostakis and Bauwens, 2014) by implementing new technological advancement rising form the second half of the information and communication technologies revolution. The world is becoming hyper-connected. “In other words, we are witnessing […] the shift of the pendulum from extreme individualism to collective, synergistic well-being” (Kostakis and Bauwens, 2014, pp. 7) where “desperation and anger” arisen by capital crises “turn into creation” for the commonweal.

The roots of our economy are implanted in competition and individualisms. However, the traditional approach generated by this modality is not compatible with the possible future of “Resilient Communities” (Kostakis and Bauwens, 2014, pp. 18) and “Global Commons” (Kostakis  and Bauwens, 2014, pp 18) which are shortly described as an economy based on peer to peer relation where each individual contributing to the economical and societal aspect of the market is recognized for his/her involvement on a local and/ or global level.

Therefore, companies are looking towards new approaches indulging disruptions. These methods are related to the debate over modern schooling, in fact, corporations are always more describing their institutions as “creative” (De Bono, 1992 pp VIII), because of their willingness to overcome disruption through new ways of thinking and approaching the market. The raise of professional positions such as “change manager and risk manager” (A New Challenge: Global Supply Chain Risk Management, 2014) are a real answer to this matter.

Western corporations are being inspired by cultural diverse business mindset such as Japan. The Toyota Motor company for example, cope with the market changes by considering every employee’s perception. For instance, the company receives 300 suggestions every year from each employee, while a normal western company would obtain below 10 proposals (De Bono, 1992 pp. 68).

The Japanese mindset focuses on improving business ahead of disruption and change. “When there are no faults there is a greater need for creative thinking to open up new possibilities” (De Bono, 1992 pp. 69).

Edward de Bono in “Serious Creativity” asserted that “further improvements in ‘perfected’ processes led to savings of millions of dollars” (De Bono, 1992 pp. 69) to companies he knew himself. The business mindset today is transforming its reactive thinking to a proactive strategy to be ahead of change. Such attitude requires the ability to foresee consequences of actions and opportunities to be found ahead. An example is the “Sur/petition” (De Bono, 1992 pp. 68) strategy that overcomes competition and place the business on its own pitch. This method is similar to benchmarking. In fact, it implies to understanding the strengths of your business and the weaknesses of your competitors to focus your strategy on unique opportunities which will be difficult for your competitors to follow, creating so your own and unrepeatable channel in the marketplace.

New attitudes towards the economy disruption is introduced by the lack of governments to manage change. “Sadly very few governments around the world have get come to realize that creative change is just as important to them as it is to business” (De Bono, 1992 pp. IX). “The government of Singapore, Malesia, Australia and Canada, [which have a strong sense of modern entrepreneurial mindset], are waking up to this need. Others still think that cost-cutting is sufficient”(De Bono, 1992 pp. IX) as Brazil recently asserted by approving the law PEC 214 for social investment moratorium.

Where the lack of authority’s attention spreads, it also triggers lateral/creative thinking in business as well as in communities to find alternatives for problem solution. Menzini analyses in “Design, When Everybody Designs” the progressively attitude of ordinary people towards everyday problem- solving, and how many of these individuals are creating new business forces from local to global areas. An example of such attitude is an innovative way of perceiving and dealing with an increasingly growing elderly population. “Consider the elderly not only as problem but also as possible agents for its solution; support their capabilities and their will to be actively involved, and optimize use of their social networks.” Such attitude has led to different alternative ways of solving the problem. For instance, “circles of care and cohousing where elderly people are supported in different forms of mutual help” (Manzini E., 2015 pp 13). Hosting a Student is another example, “where elderly people living in large houses offer a room to student who are willing to help” (Manzini E., 2015 pp. 13). This co-housing model between independent elderly people and university students from outside Milan not solely solve the elderly’s issue, but help foreign students on accommodation and cultural involvement (Milano M., 2016 pp. 13). “Ainonghui is a farmers’ association in Liuzhou, Guangxi province (China). It has been set up by a group of farmers and citizens to produce and deliver organic food. […] [The organization] also manages four organic restaurants and community organic food store.” (Manzini E., 2015 pp. 10). By doing so they aim to educate citizens of the city toward a healthier and sustainable lifestyle. “The core of this example is the unprecedented relationship between farmers rooted in their village, cultivating their traditional knowledge and expertise, and citizens who have been exposed to ideas circulating worldwide networks and who are endowed with a particular design and entrepreneurial capacity. Recognizing the complementary nature of their motivations and capabilities, they have been able to bridge the culture gap and overcome mutual prejudices to generate a solution that, otherwise would have been impossible” (Manzini E., 2015 pp. 10).

In conclusion, the nature of these actions are incubated in the most primordial feature of the human kind, in other words the ability to think laterally and make interdisciplinary connections. Furthermore, they enhance the innate bias of humanity towards collaboration over competition. “We do not argue that humans are not self-interested and competitive being, but that they simultaneously exhibit deep concern for fairness, communication, reciprocity, solidarity and social connection” (Kostakis V. and Bauwens M., 2014 pp. 40). Therefore, a new way of thinking creatively is intrinsic needed both by corporations and communities to have a fair defense toward the disruptive pace of today’s world.

 

References

A New Challenge: Global Supply Chain Risk Management. (2014). [DVD] SmartPros.

De Bono, E. (1992). Serious creativity. New York, N.Y.: HarperBusiness. pp. VIII, IX, 68, 69

Ea, P. (2016). THE PEOPLE VS THE SCHOOL SYSTEM How do YOU think we can create a better future of learning. Go here and share your thoughts on the topic!. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqTTojTija8 [Accessed 26 Oct. 2016].

Milano, M. (2016). Hosting a Student. [online] Meglio.milano.it. Available at: http://www.meglio.milano.it/hosting_student.htm [Accessed 6 Nov. 2016].

Kostakis, V. and Bauwens, M. (2014). Network society and future scenarios for a collaborative economy. Hampshire, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 4, 6-7, 18, 40

 

 

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