A Crash Course on Creativity, Dr. Tina SeeligHosted by: Stanford OnlineCourse title: A Crash Course on CreativityInstructor: Dr. Tina SeeligDuration: October 17, 2012 - December 07, 2012Course This crash course is designed to explore several factors that stimulate and inhibitdescription: creativity in individuals, teams, and organizations. In each session we will focus on a different variable related to creativity, such as framing problems, challenging assumptions, and creative teams. The course is highly experiential, requiring each student to participate actively, taking on weekly projects. Each Wednesday a new challenge will be presented, and the results are due the following Tuesday. Some of the challenges will be completed individually, and some will be done in teams. There will be a two-week project toward the end of the course that will allow you to use all the tools you have learned. To foster collaboration and learning between the students, we will craft teams for each assignment. Each project will be done with a different team, so students get a chance to work with a wide variety of participants. All submissions will be viewed and evaluated by the course participants. There will also be a course Twitter feed and Facebook page, and several scheduled Google Hangouts that will enable active discussions on specific topics. Recommended textbook: inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity by Tina Seelig.Instructor: Tina Seelig is the Executive Director for the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), the entrepreneurship center at Stanford Universitys School of Engineering, and the Director of the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter). She teaches courses on creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the department of Management Science and Engineering, and within the HassoPlattner Institute of Design at Stanford (d.school). Tina was awarded the 2009 Gordon Prize from the National Academy of Engineering, recognizing her as a national leader in engineering education. She also received the 2008 National Olympus Innovation Award, and the 2005 Stanford Tau Beta Pi Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Tina earned her Ph.D. from Stanford University Medical School where she studied Neuroscience. She has worked as a management consultant, as a multimedia producer, and was the founder of a multimedia company. She has also written 16 popular science books and educational games. Her books include The Epicurean Laboratory and Incredible Edible Science, published by Scientific American; and a series of twelve games called Games for Your Brain, published by Chronicle Books. Her newest books, published by HarperCollins, are inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity, and What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 .Schedule: The course runs from Wed, Oct 17 - Friday, Dec 7, 2012. New lectures will be posted on Wednesdays, and assignments are due the following Tuesday.Workload: Expect to spend between 1 - 5 hours a week on the course.Technical You need a computer that allows you to watch the video lectures, and the ability toRequirements: upload your assignments, which will be images, videos, slides, and text. You will also be required to collaborate with teammates via email, skype, and other free online tools.Prerequisites: This is an introductory course designed for anyone, anywhere in the world. There are no prerequisites. It would be helpful to have basic skills taking digital photos, creating slide, presentations, and creating short videos for your homework submissions.Course The course is designed to introduce you to a set of tools for generating new ideasContent: individually and as part of a team, including opportunity identification, reframing problems, connecting and combining ideas, and challenging assumptions. We will also discuss team dynamics, creative communication, and cultures that support creative problem solving.Team There are several short team projects in the course. You can bring your own team or
Projects: we will create one for you.Evaluation: Because this course focuses on creativity, evaluation of the projects is necessarily subjective. Our goal is to make sure that you get thoughtful feedback on your submissions and to showcase the most creative solutions for each challenge. To do this, the entire class will be involved in providing feedback on the assignments. The more projects you review, the more feedback you receive on your project. Also, you will be getting guidance and feedback on your evaluations in order to make sure they are as accurate and constructive as possible. The projects that are the most highly rated will be showcased on the course home page.Statement of Subject to satisfactory performance and course completion, you will receive aAccomplish- statement of accomplishment signed by the instructor. This statement will not stand inment: the place of a course taken at Stanford or an accredited institution.Intro video20121022Lecture 1. Course OverviewIntroduction Assignment Schedule Introducing the Innovation Engine You can learn to be more creative. While some are naturally good at it, we can all work to be better. Being creative calls for you to: Identify opportunities Reframe problems Challenge assumptions Connect ideas in surprising ways Be motivated to solve the problems you face and be confident you can do so Class motto: “Every problem is an opportunity for a creative solution. The bigger the problem, the bigger the opportunity.”Reading Chapter 1: Ideas Arent Cheap, Theyre Free20121022 Until recently, prospective students at All Soul’s College, at Oxford university, took a “one-word exam.” They each flipped over a piece of paper at the same time to reveal a single word. The word might have been “innocence” or “miracles” or “water” or “provocative.” Their challenge was to craft an essay in three hours inspired by that single word. There were no right answers to this exam. However, each applicant’s response provided insights into the student’s wealth of knowledge and ability to generate creative connections. This challenge reinforces the fact that everything—every single word—provides an opportunity to leverage what you know to stretch your imagination. For so many of us, this type of creativity hasn’t been fostered. We don’t look at everything in our environment as an opportunity for ingenuity. In fact, creativity should be an imperative. Creativity allows you to thrive in an ever-changing world and unlocks a universe of possibilities. With enhanced creativity, instead of problems you see potential, instead of
obstacles you see opportunities, and instead of challenges you see a chance to create breakthrough solutions. Sadly, there is also a common and often-repeated saying, “Ideas are cheap.” This statement discounts the value of creativity and is utterly wrong. Ideas aren’t cheap at all—they’re free. And they’re amazingly valuable. Ideas lead to innovations that fuel the economies of the world, and they prevent our lives from becoming repetitive and stagnant. As the renowned American inventor Alan Kay famously said, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” We are all inventors of our own future. And creativity is at the heart of invention. After a dozen years teaching courses on creativity and innovation, I can confidently assert that creativity can be enhanced. This course will focus on specific tools and techniques that enhance creativity in individuals, teams, and organizations. We will look at ways to increase your ability to see opportunities around you, to connect and combine ideas, to challenge assumptions, and to reframe problems. We will explore ways you can modify your environment to enhance your creativity and the creativity of those with whom you live and work. In addition, we will look at the ways your motivation and mind-set influence your creative output, including your willingness to experiment, your ability to push through barriers to find creative solutions to daunting challenges, and your skill at turning off premature judgment of new ideas. It is important to understand that these factors fit together and profoundly influence one another. Therefore, none can be viewed in isolation. I’ve created a new model—the innovation engine - that illustrates how all these factors work together to enhance creativity. The three parts on the inside of your innovation engine are knowledge, imagination, and attitude: Your knowledge provides the fuel for your imagination. Your imagination is the catalyst for the transformation of knowledge into new ideas. Your attitude is a spark that sets the innovation engine in motion. The three parts on the outside of your innovation engine are resources, habitat, and culture. Resources are all the assets in your community. Habitat includes the people on your team, the rules, rewards, and the physical space. Culture is the collective beliefs, values, and behaviors in your community. There is a recurring theme: creativity is not just something you think about—it is something you do. In this class you will get a chance to actively engage with increasing your creativity so that you can jump-start your innovation engine.Assignment There are two assignments for this week.1) 20121022 1) Please watch my TEDxStanford talk
2) xx In this talk I describe the essence of the Innovation Engine model. This model creates the scaffolding into which the projects we will tackle fit. 2) Getting to know your classmates exercise This is very similar to an exercise I do the first day of class with my students at Stanford. It is designed to help you get to know the other participants in the class, and to stretch your imagination.Lecture 2: Focused observation and commitment to really seeing what’s happening is anPaying important key to innovation.Attention20121031 True observation is an incredibly active process and requires you to engage all of your senses. The knowledge you gain by paying attention reveals opportunities for problems to be solved, as well as insights into solutions.