Scholar Thomas Homer Dixon describes the “ingenuity gap” – the space between problems that arise and our ability to solve them – as growing today at an alarming rate (in business, scientific research, education, the environment and world affairs). Author Ken Robinson proclaims we are “Out of Our Minds” to have sidelined creativity and the arts when every layer of American society from elementary education to supply-side economics is starved for more imagination, more original thinking, more creative intelligence. John Cimino, president of Creative Leaps International, looks at the habits of mind linked to creativity, ingenuity and imaginative insight and reviews recent findings in neuroscience revealing the brain’s unique experience of the arts and arts-based thinking. Right along side creativity, Cimino emphasizes the need for connectivity, that is, thinking across boundaries, disciplines and cultures to address the complex issues of a globally inter-connected world. Designing “high tech, high touch” environments for creativity and connectivity is the central challenge of our institutions of higher education, research and professional development. Cimino concludes with his vision for a network of Renaissance Centers for Innovation, Learning and Leadership.
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