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Saturday, June 16, 2012

We need artists to solve the challenges of this century | Sara Diamond, The Globe and Mail

Writing in the Economy section of her Toronto, Canada, newspaper, Diamond asks this provocative question:
Why don’t we set the imaginative muscle of artists, designers and arts-inspired thinkers against the great challenges of our century?
I like it! Diamond's arguments are convincing. 

She writes:
Artists are designers who thrive on calculated risks and curiosity. Our emerging generation of talent brings a commitment to intersecting areas of knowledge: 1) design thinking; 2) creative practice; 3) critical and scientific inquiry; 4) technological fluency; and 5) entrepreneurialism.
And she describes these significant characteristics of artistic people:
  • These are multi-dimensional, creative individuals, capable of acting in their own right, and also facilitating across cultures, communities of interest and disciplines.
  • They are nimble, self-motivated learners.
  • Their learning is in the classroom, the studio, the workplace online and mobile; it is cross-cultural and international.
  • They are self-reflective and manage evaluation – peer and expert.
  • They are economic realists, yet entrepreneurial. They hold strong values, yet are playful.
The rest of her serious column describes what artists and designers bring to the "credibility gap."

If we give them a chance, these innovators might be just what we need to tackle many of the challenges facing our face-paced, interconnected world, as Diamond describes:
  • An abundance of data assembled at breakneck speeds
  • the redistribution of wealth
  • the online world integrating our physical experiences and human processes
  • 24/7 mobility and connectivity
  • a declining social safety net
  • the repositioning of global power
  • fragile ecologies replacing infinite resources
  • a need for co-operation to counter competitiveness
  • previously passive individuals and experiences becoming participatory.
It's time for a different kind of creative thinking. 


This article is one of several stimulating articles in the June 16 edition of Garbl's Creativity Connections -- available at the Creativity tab above (and by a free subscription). 

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