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Cultivating Creativity
building practical skills for increased creativity
Curated by Peter Shanks
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The Science Behind Optimizing A Productive Work Environment

The Science Behind Optimizing A Productive Work Environment | Cultivating Creativity | Scoop.it
Environmental factors like noise levels, temperature, and lighting can make a big difference to how creative we are.
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Why It's Time To Learn Another Language - Edudemic

Why It's Time To Learn Another Language - Edudemic | Cultivating Creativity | Scoop.it
I often hear language learning is much easier when you are younger, and that we must teach our young students another language when they are young so that they can be ‘more competitive’ in an increasingly globalized, connected world. While I don’t argue with that at all, there are many other benefits that come from being …
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10 Surprising Things That Benefit Our Brain That You Can Do Everyday

10 Surprising Things That Benefit Our Brain That You Can Do Everyday | Cultivating Creativity | Scoop.it
Source: Huffington Post

Our brains are by far our most important organs.  Here are 10 of the most surprising things our brains do and what we can learn from them:

1. Your brain does creative work better when you're tired.

Here's how it breaks down:

If you're a morning
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How to Burst the "Filter Bubble" that Protects Us from Opposing Views | MIT Technology Review

How to Burst the "Filter Bubble" that Protects Us from Opposing Views | MIT Technology Review | Cultivating Creativity | Scoop.it
Computer scientists have discovered a way to number-crunch an individual’s own preferences to recommend content from others with opposing views. The goal?
Peter Shanks's insight:

Eduardo Graells-Garrido at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona as well as Mounia Lalmas and Daniel Quercia, both at Yahoo Labs, say they’ve hit on a way to burst the filter bubble. Their idea that although people may have opposing views on sensitive topics, they may also share interests in other areas. And they’ve built a recommendation engine that points these kinds of people towards each other based on their own preferences.

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Brain Time

Brain Time | Cultivating Creativity | Scoop.it
David Eagleman Blog
Peter Shanks's insight:

It seems clear from preconscious reactions that the motor system does not wait for all the information to arrive before making its decisions but instead acts as quickly as possible, before the participation of awareness, by way of fast subcortical routes. This raises a question: what is the use of perception, especially since it lags behind reality, is retrospectively attributed, and is generally outstripped by automatic (unconscious) systems?

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The Secret Ingredient in Computational Creativity | MIT Technology Review

The Secret Ingredient in Computational Creativity | MIT Technology Review | Cultivating Creativity | Scoop.it
IBM has built a computational creativity machine that creates entirely new and useful stuff from its knowledge of existing stuff. And the secret sauce in all this? Big data, say the computer scientists behind it.
Peter Shanks's insight:

Can computers be creative? That’s a question likely to generate controversial answers. It also raises and some important issues too, like how to define creativity.

 
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Six Drucker Questions that Simplify a Complex Age

Six Drucker Questions that Simplify a Complex Age | Cultivating Creativity | Scoop.it
They'll help you challenge assumptions and reframe problems.
Peter Shanks's insight:

here are six questions—all of them straight out of Drucker’s writing—that I believe he would now pose to any manager trying to cope with, in his words, “the complexities of size, markets, products and technologies.” You should ask the first two from the standpoint of your overall organization. You should ask those who work for you the second two. And the final two you should ask yourself.

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Why procrastination doesn’t need a cure: A guide to structured distraction - - The Buffer Blog

Why procrastination doesn’t need a cure: A guide to structured distraction - - The Buffer Blog | Cultivating Creativity | Scoop.it
Should we really try to stop procrastinating? Maybe we don't! Procrastination doesn't need a cure and we don't have to stop procrastinating one bit:
Peter Shanks's insight:

our procrastination effectively comes down to our biology. In fact, the economist George Ainslie even said that procrastination “could well be called the basic impulse.”

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How Can We Increase Insight? - The Discipline of Innovation

How Can We Increase Insight? - The Discipline of Innovation | Cultivating Creativity | Scoop.it
Innovation depends on insight. But many of the practices and habits within our organisations actually inhibit generating insights.
Peter Shanks's insight:

Businesses, with timelines and incentives that are somewhat different, focus on short term financial results, which tends to shift the balance between innovation and efficiency toward efficiency. Most initiatives that focus on improving efficiency have an immediate, and positive financial impact. Thus efficiency is rewarded, and initiatives that are rewarded are repeated. Innovation often has a negative short term impact – costs without an immediate benefit – so innovation is far less likely to produce a short term financial benefit, and therefore much more difficult to do. Slowly, over time, the scales shift from a balance between efficiency and innovation to ever more efficiency and increasingly less innovation. Eventually efficiency is well understood and easily accomplished, but it has ever decreasing marginal returns. Innovation, on the other hand, becomes more difficult the less it is practiced, and is viewed as risky, uncertain and become even less likely to be taken up.

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Why You Should Spend Your Mornings In A Cave

Why You Should Spend Your Mornings In A Cave | Cultivating Creativity | Scoop.it
People are most creative when they work without distraction. But what does that mean for the team? Welcome to the cave-dwelling future of...
Peter Shanks's insight:

“Creativity happens when you work independently,” she says, echoing our finding that insight comes from not having distractions. “Individuals are really good at generating a whole lot of ideas, while groups are good at selecting, shaping, and refining those ideas.”

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Samantha Mackay's curator insight, November 11, 2013 12:32 PM

Caves are the way to go!

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Datasets released by Google

Datasets released by Google | Cultivating Creativity | Scoop.it
For all the Machine Learning fans out there, here is a short list of various datasets released by Google over the years.
• Co-occurrence of words for word n-gram model training (translation, spelling...
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Your Memory May Be Edited

Your Memory May Be Edited | Cultivating Creativity | Scoop.it
Recent and easily retrievable information can overwrite the details of memories, thus altering them in your mind. Christie Nicholson reports.
Peter Shanks's insight:

Sometime creativity needs no cultivation at all :-)

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Biology of the mind: Is consciousness merely the result of evolution, or something more? (Live video)

Biology of the mind: Is consciousness merely the result of evolution, or something more? (Live video) | Cultivating Creativity | Scoop.it
At 2:30pm (eastern time) today, some of the world's preeminent psychologists, neuroscientists, and philosophers will discuss the biology of the mind. The discussion, which takes place at The Helix Center in New York, will focus on whether the very human concepts of the mind, consciousness, and self-awareness are merely a function of the mammalian brain's structure, or whether there's more to it. By the same measure, the researchers will discuss whether the mind is purely the reserve of humans, or whether it also exists further down the evolutionary scale (does a dog have a mind? how about a bird, or a crocodile?)
Peter Shanks's insight:

Oh, how the mind loves to spend its time... contemplating the mind

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5 Steps That Will Boost Your Creativity - Edudemic

So how does one go about harnessing their inner creativity? It isn't a process that can really be forced.
Peter Shanks's insight:

The handy infographic below takes a look at ways you can be more creative, and some great techniques you can employ to get the juices flowing when your river of creative has run dry.

 

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Sarah McElrath's curator insight, December 28, 2013 11:18 AM

Helpful infographic on ways to be more creative.

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10 Surprising Indicators Of Genius - Listverse

10 Surprising Indicators Of Genius - Listverse | Cultivating Creativity | Scoop.it
Short of mastering chess in five moves or teaching yourself fifteen languages before turning seventeen, there are a number of ways for the "average" person
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TED | An equation for intelligence by Alex Wissner-Gross | KurzweilAI

TED | An equation for intelligence by Alex Wissner-Gross | KurzweilAI | Cultivating Creativity | Scoop.it
“Is there an underlying mechanism for intelligence? Yes, intelligence consistently tries to maximize diversity of future options, says Alex
Peter Shanks's insight:

What is the most intelligent way to behave? Wissner-Gross explains how the latest research findings in physics, computer science, and animal behavior suggest that the smartest actions, from the dawn of human tool use all the way up to modern business and financial strategy, are all driven by the single fundamental principle of keeping future options as open as possible.

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Three Creativity Challenges from IDEO's Leaders

Three Creativity Challenges from IDEO's Leaders | Cultivating Creativity | Scoop.it
Innovation requires practice.
Peter Shanks's insight:

creativity challenges to jump-start your practice. Some you can do by yourself; some require a team. Some seem incredibly simple; others you might find more challenging. Three are presented

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Samantha Mackay's curator insight, November 11, 2013 12:30 PM

These 3 exercises are great.

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Rise and shine: the daily routines of history's most creative minds

Rise and shine: the daily routines of history's most creative minds | Cultivating Creativity | Scoop.it

The path to greatness is paved with a thousand tiny rituals (and a fair bit of substance abuse) – but six key rules emerge

Peter Shanks's insight:
1. Be a morning person2. Don't give up the day job3. Take lots of walks4. Stick to a schedule5. Practise strategic substance abuse6. Learn to work anywhere
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santina kerslake's curator insight, October 28, 2013 12:10 PM

Pick your drug of choice to help you with your early morning routine.

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Solving Brainstorming's Loudmouth Problem

Solving Brainstorming's Loudmouth Problem | Cultivating Creativity | Scoop.it
The most dominant person in a group likely won't have the best ideas. So how can you get everyone to be creative?
Peter Shanks's insight:

three steps:

1) JUST ONE SENTENCE

At the beginning of the session, everybody has a stack of small index cards in front of them. Set a timer. Then each person writes one idea or solution on each card--beware the paragraph.

2) FOCUS ON THE IDEA, NOT THE AUTHOR

Then, after said timer goes off, gather the cards anonymously. Then stick them to a wall or a whiteboard--free of any guessing at or confessing of authorship.

"A shy person, a new person, a young person, they don't have to worry that they're going to get interrupted," Thompson told HBR. "When I do brain writing, I have two rules, no guessing and no confessions. So I don't want anybody to sign their name on a card. That's the no confessions. And when we tap the cards on the wall or thumb tack them on the wall, I don't want anyone guessing who said what."

3) MAKE A BLIND VOTE

Then, finally, you can vote for whatever idea (on whatever tiny index card) by marking it with a sticker. Everybody gets the same limited number of stickers, allowing the best ideas to rise to the top.

"It should really be a meritocracy of ideas," Thompson says. "In other words, I shouldn't be voting for the CMO's idea; I should be voting for an idea that I really think is going to be exciting for our company or organization."

In this way, the uneven communication problem gets evened out. The spiral--having been written out, stuck on a wall, and stickered--goes upward.

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Timothy Leary Video Games Unearthed in Archive

Timothy Leary Video Games Unearthed in Archive | Cultivating Creativity | Scoop.it
Material unearthed in Timothy Leary’s archive at the New York Public Library show that the was an early adventurer in another arena: video games.
Peter Shanks's insight:

Most of Leary’s software projects had a strong self-help bent, and aimed at helping users understand and improve their personalities through digital rather than pharmaceutical means. “Isn’t precise thinking about yourself the most basic tool for managing your life successfully?” players are asked at the beginning of “Mind Mirror” (1985), Leary’s one commercially released product, which allowed players to create, evaluate and role-play different personalities based on psychometric ideas from his 1950 Ph.D. thesis, “The Social Dimensions of Personality.”

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Make Art, Make Money, and Believe the Beard: What Jim Henson Teaches Us about Bridging Creative Integrity and Commercial Success

Make Art, Make Money, and Believe the Beard: What Jim Henson Teaches Us about Bridging Creative Integrity and Commercial Success | Cultivating Creativity | Scoop.it
"What is a human being? Complex to the point of absurdity, a whole person is both greedy and generous."

"Art suffers the moment other peo
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Seven Steps to Build Your Experimental Capability - The Discipline of Innovation

Seven Steps to Build Your Experimental Capability - The Discipline of Innovation | Cultivating Creativity | Scoop.it
Experimenting is a core innovation skill. Scott Berkun's book The Year Without Pants outlines the approach that Automattic uses to foster experiments at WordPress.com. It's a great approach, which you can adapt to fit your organisation too.
Peter Shanks's insight:

Here are the seven steps that they use at Automattic to build new features for WordPress.com

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