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Search results for ‘diversity of thought’

The edge is where the action is. Business-Design-Art-Music.

24 Feb

Amy and I are back from the Arts Enterprise Summit in Kansas City. It was so much more than a conference…

Back in the real world, I found myself explaining the experience to a colleague. This event was special not because of the content of the slide decks or the caliber of the speakers, but rather the combination of all the people. This was the intersection of a network passionate about business, design, art, music, and everything in between.

The edge between all those worlds is where the action is… this is where you foster Diversity of Thought, the ability to see the same thing in many different ways, simultaneously.

As the summit was full of practicing musicians (more than I’ve ever spent time with!), I had the opportunity to explore how the musician thinks, the struggles their working community faces, and how they overcome it all to create a working piece of art and help the community grow.

Peter Witte, the Dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, had an enlightening quote about the growth of this creative organization: “Through music-making we learn to listen, to accompany, to support, to empathize, to work together… all non-verbally.

Every organization could use this kind of perspective.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to sit at the table with business professionals, freelance designers, visual artists, and practicing musicians to discuss creative output and bringing new ideas to the world… do it. This event was a pinnacle example of whole-brain thinking… so many quick wits, so many interesting perspectives, so many memorable jokes!

Now, I must get back to training for karaoke next year.

Popularity: 49% [?]

 

Every country on Earth is reforming education and learning.

21 Oct

Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert, gave an enlightening talk about education reform around the world. Education reform is happening less through legislation, and more through an awakening of what creativity, knowledge-gathering, and motivation really are.

Education reform is a critical topic as Thomas Friedman (of the NYTimes and ‘The World is Flat’) recently opined that, ‘America’s core competency is is ability to attract, develop and unleash creative talent.

Is that competency in danger? Are other countries struggling as well?

Sir Ken Robinson challenges a few key assumptions that stem from the intellectual culture of the  Enlightenment and the economic circumstances of the Industrial Revolution.

  • Why do we batch students by age or year? Shouldn’t we batch students by their respective skill in a certain topic?
  • Why do we educate students in the same class sizes? Don’t some learn better in large groups, small groups, or even alone?
  • Why are all students forced to learn during the same hours? Some students are geared towards morning, afternoon, or evening learning.

The most alarming statistic Sir Ken Robinson provides is from a study on divergent thinking published in Breakpoint and Beyond. Divergent thinking is the ability to think of many answers to a specific problem… this is the first step to problem solving… before we get analytical and make THE BEST decision (this latter process if where business education focuses today). 98% of 1500 kindergartners scored at the genius level for divergent thinking. Their scores went down as they progressed in the education system.

What examples have you seen of successful education reform? What programs are creating vibrant students who are making a difference in the world?

Related:

Popularity: 37% [?]

 

Drawing how the internet works.

08 Oct

What a small world.

I stumbled upon an article about ‘Drawing how the internet works,’ an assignment given by a former Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute student I met in Troy, NY who is now teaching an online class, “Web 200: Anatomy of a Request.”

He asked the global, virtual students to ‘draw how the internet works.’ They created simple models of this complex series of relationships to help think through the ‘problem’ and share what they learned with others in the class. This is Drawing Down the Vision.

How the internet works may not be your forte or interest… but you can apply this technique in your day to day life and work. The intersection of text and visuals helps you think through a problem in new ways, what we call diversity of thought.

Checkout our practice articles for help getting started.

via @azaaza

Popularity: 15% [?]

 

Art and design can help solve problems in any industry.

29 Sep

John Maeda, President of the Rhode Island School of Design and author of The Laws of Simplicity, has always been an advocate of applying art and design in nontraditional settings. In the quick video below, John explains how a creative background can help individuals succeed in tackling problems other skillsets may struggle with. This is Diversity of Thought in action, a key tenet of Drawing Down the Vision.

“Artists are able to imagine so well. Designers can also organize so clearly. This species of mind can be leveraged in the sciences and business in new ways.” – John Maeda

via The Economist, The Ideas Economy

Popularity: 13% [?]

 

Presenting at the Arts Enterprise National Conference

02 Aug

AE. Arts Enterprise. The Art of Business. The Business of Art.

Amy and I are honored to be presenting at the Arts Enterprise National Conference on February 19-21, 2011 in Kansas City, MO.

The primary goal of the conference is to help more national chapters get started. The secondary goal is for businesses such as Procter & Gamble, Apple, Google, Disney, Dreamworks and other to connect with bright students who work at the intersection of art and business – what we’re all about!

If you recall, we originally connected with Nate Zeisler, the co-Founder and Executive Director of Arts Enterprise, discussing  promoting diversity of thought. Nate is doing an awesome job organizing the event and pulling all the national chapters together.

Comment below if we can look forward to helping you start an Arts Enterprise Chapter at your school or connect your business with Arts Enterprise!

You can follow Arts Enterprise on Facebook and Twitter or read the Arts Enterprise Annual Report.

Popularity: 9% [?]

 

Creator of Twitter: ‘Drawing out your ideas’ is the key to success.

03 Jun

The Creator of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, shared his top 3 keys to success at the 99% Conference. Jack advocates we ‘draw an idea out, recognize the situation around us, and immediately share it with people.’

First, ‘draw out your ideas.’

Drawing is all about ‘getting it out of your head and seeing it from a completely different perspective.‘*

Here is the original sketch by Jack for Twitter, circa 2000. It wasn’t practical at the time so he kept it aside in his nest of ideas.

Twitter Founder, Jack Dorsey, advocates 'drawing out your ideas.' Here is the original sketch for Twitter, circa 2000. He recognized the right situation in 2005. It became perfect in 2009.

Second, ‘recognize the situation is right.’

In 2000, Twitter would have failed.

However, in 2005, text messaging got big in the US. Jack was reminded of an original idea he had back in 2000, what came to be Twitter.

By having a historical record of ideas, an idea nest, you can reapply your ideas when the situation is right.
Third, ‘be open enough to iterate quickly.’

Your idea has to be more than idea, it has to be a solution to someone’s problem. Try to come up with a basic solution, and keep changing it until it’s just right. Learn fast and cheap on paper with sketches, in discussion with others, and in use with prototypes.
Finally, ‘act as an editor.’

Know when to stop, and start doing. To succeed, we must go from ‘idea, to drawing, to prototype, to commitment.’

Jack Dorsey, Founder of Twitter, Original Sketches of Square

Here is Jack's original sketch for his new company, Square, a tool to help everyone accept credit card transactions everywhere. http://squareup.com/

Thanks to @sido for his post and tweet.

* We call this different perspective the Diversity of Thought.

Popularity: 53% [?]

 

Pay attention to what you pay attention to.

27 May

My journal offered me a phenomenal breakthrough today. I’d like to share how it all precipitated.

I went through my sketchpad the other day and tried to pull a theme out of what’s been going through my head and my life lately. The answer wasn’t immediately obvious. I realized there was no theme because… there was no theme. I was doing too much.

We call this retrospective process ‘paying attention to what you pay attention to.’

Knowing I was spreading myself too thin, like too little butter on too much bread, I decided I should make some serious choices in my life, and focus my energies. Here is how I represented my thinking on what I needed to do:

I was thinking about focus all wrong.

I thought I had figured it out. I would slowly cut out the diffusion in my life. In the end, I would be laser focused on what I really needed to accomplish in my life. Wrong.

After creating the original representation of focus… everyone around me was suddenly talking about focus! I was paying attention to how people focus, and pulling lessons out of this.*

In hearing so much more about focus, and pulling a few life stories from friends, I realized there was a hidden crutch buried in my original sketch: a need for comfort, security, and a fear of making tough life choices.

While reviewing my original drawing, I realized making a choice to focus your life is more like what I represented below. You need to make the tough choices you’ve been putting off, and commit to follow through on those choices.

The most successful people I know made difficult decisions and focused their effort on their top priority.

For example, John Traynor, made a commitment to follow classical painting when he was growing up in New Jersey, against the advice of many educators. He could have gotten a business and art degree at Skidmore College, with something to fall back on if art didn’t work out. He realized that lack of focus was setting himself up for failure. Instead he committed and persisted at the Paier College of Art. Today he is phenomenally successful.

The process of creative journaling offers me an opportunity to dissect my own thinking, and how focused it is.** The journal serves as a nest of ideas. It proves to be a very valuable tool as we all search for ways to live our life to the fullest and make our business a success. I’d love to hear how journaling and creative work fits into your life!

* We call this ‘The New Car Phenomenon.’ When you buy a new car, magically, you notice hundreds more on the rode than you ever noticed before!
**
We call this Diversity of Thought… words, text, and graphics all help you analyze your life and business from multiple angles, multiple forms of logic. You become your own critic, your personal sounding board.

Popularity: 18% [?]

 

Promoting diversity of thought.

09 May

Creative Thinking

Amy and I had the great opportunity to meet with Nate Zeisler. He is the co-founder of Arts Enterprise, an organization dedicated to promoting entrepreneurial and creative thinking through the intersection of art and business.

Nate’s work is closely related to ours here at Drawing Down the Vision. Arts Enterprise is building a university network of dedicated leaders in this burgeoning field promoting diversity of thought: new ways to think through solutions to the complex, multi-faceted problems our world faces.

The time is ripe for this shift in thinking for both the academic and business worlds, applying best practices from all walks of life. Richard Florida, author of ‘The Rise of the Creative Class‘, dubs today, ‘The Great Reset‘ (the name of his new book). We’re all challenged to find new and relevant ways to contribute to the ever-changing communities we live in, to make the most of the myriad resources we are presented with. This demands skills native to the traditional artist and entrepreneur, a new way of looking at the world. It demands people who can combine and teach creative and professional success.

If you know of other groups working towards a similar goal, please share below! We all have a lot to learn.

“We are all artists now.” – Dalton Conley, Elsewhere USA
‘The MFA is the new MBA.’ – Daniel Pink, A Whole New Mind

Popularity: 36% [?]

 
 



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