Posted by: Liz Massey | September 1, 2011

Surf’s Up, Condensed: Top Creativity Links for September 1, 2011

Photo courtesy SXC.

For ‘Creativity,’ Just Add ‘Crowd’ |

Lena Groeger reports on a study by Jeffrey Nickerson, an information systems researcher at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., that demonstrates that large groups of people can collaborate to produce innovative ideas. Instead of having people speak to each other, his system allows people to “speak through the things they produce.” All it takes is a crowdsourcing marketplace, free design software, and an organizational process that mimics natural evolution.

Why Steve Jobs Couldn’t Find a Job Today | Forbes

Adam Hartung reviews the past decade’s supposed focus on encouraging innovation and finds that business leaders are still too set in their ways to hire and promote creative individuals who can, like Jobs, reinvent entire industries. A sample quote:

Until we start hiring promoting innovators we won’t have any innovation.  We must understand that America’s successful history doesn’t guarantee it’s successful future.  Competing on bits, rather than brawn or natural resources, requires creativity to recognize opportunities, develop them and implement new solutions rapidly.

Three New Studies Prove That Docs Can Change the World | International Documentary Association

Intriguing link to information provided by Peter Broderick and others that discuss qualitative and quantitative analysis of the real-world impact of 3 films: An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for Superman and The End of the Line.

6 Ideas To Help You Rethink Creative Resourcefulness | Ancient Artist: Developing an art career after 50

Sue Favinger Smith offers a half-dozen quotes and links that offer insight into new ways of being resourceful in hard times. My favorite thing she shares is this piece about over-focusing on the “right” answer by Brian Clark at Copyblogger:

“One of the worst aspects of formal education is the focus on the correct answer to a particular question or problem. While this approach helps us function in society, it hurts creative thinking because real-life issues are ambiguous. There’s often more than one ‘correct’ answer, and the second one you come up with might be better than the first.”

As States Struggle, How Much for the Arts? –

Robin Pogrebin reports on reaction to New York Times coverage of state governments zeroing out funding for the arts. Reader response varies from “It is precisely during economically difficult times that support of the arts is most needed,” to “Support for art should come from the artists themselves and from patrons, not taxpayers.”

Try Blackout Poetry to Spark Creativity | Strangling My Muse

Guest blogger Bridget Sandorford shares the techniques of poet Austin Kleon, author of Newspaper Blackout. Kleon takes a newspaper and blacks out the words he doesn’t need – sort of a magnetic poetry in reverse.


  1. Thanks for including Bridget’s guest post on Strangling My Muse in this wonderful round-up, Liz!

    ~Sandy Ackers

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