Teaching creativity and innovation
Commodity Online | February 19 2019
UPDATED 15:49:18 IST

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By Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA

Can creativity and being innovative be taught? But the process leading to be creative and innovative can be established.

On a recent cool and quite Saturday morning, a group of people who practice these concepts gathered to interact with the well-known artist couples, Terry and Jo Harvey Allen at Lubbock-based Texas Tech University.

With economies struggling to create new jobs, there needs to be new ideas and thoughts to create opportunities that can arise from the interaction of arts and science to medicine and technology.

“Creativity is unteachable,” said Andy Wilkinson, chair of creative process commons at TTU, a new initiative formed to enable creativity among people with diverse interests and expertise. But, the process to be creative is certainly teachable. The initiative provides people from different disciplines to interact so that creation of new processes and ideas across disciplines can happen.

“Drop down names of disciplines and get down to be a human,” said Terry Allen, who has been an artist and a creator for over fifty years. In other words, breaking down silos and creating an opportunity for designers, technologists and medical doctors to interact is the path forward in the innovation world.

It is not the data or statistics, but human curiosity drives the world of creativity stated Aliza Wong, professor of history at Texas Tech. In these days, diverse pool of talents with varying cultural background, expertise and interest matters, stated Lawrence Schovanec, a mathematician and the current president of Texas Tech University.

To enable creativity and enhance innovative spirit, interactive platforms are necessary and that is the reason, the creative process commons initiative has been launched. The platform is a vehicle for different disciplines to interact, stated Michael Galyean, provost at Texas Tech. Creative process cannot be put in a bottle, but cross fertilization of ideas helps, added Galyean.

Human interaction is key to develop new products and ideas as is evident from new consumer products being developed by tech giants like Apple. Trying new ideas without the constant fear of failure is a step in the right direction.

An important take home message was collaborations are needed and it is not about one person but, the work and collective output matters.

The workshop certainly provided a lot of wisdom to be creative and innovative.

 

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