Creativity & Social Change

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Presented by Tom Tresser on April 8, 2014 to the "Civics 101" class at i c stars.,,

Presented by Tom Tresser on April 8, 2014 to the "Civics 101" class at i c stars.,,

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  • This is really GREAT Tom Tresser, I have liked it so much indeed, its an eye opener to me as a Christian Cultural Anthropologist and a Development Economist. Very soon next month I will be making some University Presentation on Culture and Creative Industry for Job Creation. Kindly allow me to borrow some of your comments to my presentation, which will be part of the national celebration of World Culture Day here in Uganda. Forward by: Rev. Philip Fred KATO, Team Leader, Africa for Christ International; Team Leader, Workshop Committee for World Culture Day Celebrations May 2014. Email:, Kampala, Uganda
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  • 1. Creativity & Social Change Tom Tresser April 2014
  • 2. The Creativity Imperative 2 Creativity& AmericanHeritage
  • 3. The Creativity Imperative 3
  • 4. The Creativity Imperative 4 The Power of Political Theater The Tea Act of 1773 The Tea Act, passed by Parliament on May 10, 1773, would launch the final spark to the revolutionary movement in Boston. The act was not intended to raise revenue in the American colonies, and in fact imposed no new taxes. It was designed to prop up the East India Company which was floundering financially and burdened with eighteen million pounds of unsold tea. This tea was to be shipped directly to the colonies, and sold at a bargain price. The Townshend Duties were still in place, however, and the radical leaders in America found reason to believe that this act was a maneuver to buy popular support for the taxes already in force. The direct sale of tea, via British agents, would also have undercut the business of local merchants. Colonists in Philadelphia and New York turned the tea ships back to Britain. In Charleston the cargo was left to rot on the docks. In Boston the Royal Governor was stubborn & held the ships in port, where the colonists would not allow them to unload. Cargoes of tea filled the harbor, and the British ship's crews were stalled in Boston looking for work and often finding trouble. This situation led to the Boston Tea Party.
  • 5. 5 December 16, 1773
  • 6. The Creativity Imperative 6 Account of Tea Party Participant, George Hewes It was now evening, and I immediately dressed myself in the costume of an Indian, equipped with a small hatchet, which I and my associates denominated the tomahawk, with which, and a club, after having painted my face and hands with coal dust in the shop of a blacksmith, I repaired to Griffin's wharf, where the ships lay that contained the tea. When I first appeared in the street after being thus disguised, I fell in with many who were dressed, equipped and painted as I was, and who fell in with me and marched in order to the place of our destination. When we arrived at the wharf, there were three of our number who assumed an authority to direct our operations, to which we readily submitted. They divided us into three parties, for the purpose of boarding the three ships which contained the tea at the same time. The name of him who commanded the division to which I was assigned was Leonard Pitt. The names of the other commanders I never knew. We were immediately ordered by the respective commanders to board all the ships at the same time, which we promptly obeyed. The commander of the division to which I belonged, as soon as we were on board the ship appointed me boatswain, and ordered me to go to the captain and demand of him the keys to the hatches and a dozen candles. I made the demand accordingly, and the captain promptly replied, and delivered the articles; but requested me at the same time to do no damage to the ship or rigging. We then were ordered by our commander to open the hatches and take out all the chests of tea and throw them overboard, and we immediately proceeded to execute his orders, first cutting and splitting the chests with our tomahawks, so as thoroughly to expose them to the effects of the water. In about three hours from the time we went on board, we had thus broken and thrown overboard every tea chest to be found in the ship, while those in the other ships were disposing of the tea in the same way, at the same time. We were surrounded by British armed ships, but no attempt was made to resist us. [ ]
  • 7. 7 The Power of words… Thomas Paine – 1737 - 1809
  • 8. The Creativity Imperative 8 The Power of words… “We have every opportunity and every encouragement before us, to form the noblest, purest constitution on the face of the earth. We have it in our power to begin the world over again. A situation, similar to the present, hath not happened since the days of Noah until now. The birthday of a new world is at hand, and a race of men, perhaps as numerous as all Europe contains, are to receive their portion of freedom from the events of a few months.” Read the full text @
  • 9. 9 The Power of words… Estimates of copies sold range from 150,000 at start of Revolution to a total sales figure of 500,000 for the duration of the conflict. Since there were about 2.5 million people in America in 1776, that would like selling 78 million copies of a book in 2014 America !
  • 10. 10 More on Thomas Paine • Watch C-SPAN “American Writers” special @ • Full text of his work - • TP National Historical Association -
  • 11. The Creativity Imperative 11 The Invention of America
  • 12. 12 “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. etc. etc.”
  • 13. 13 Tom Crafts reads the Declaration aloud in Boston - July 19, 1776
  • 14. The Creativity Imperative 14 “The bells rang, the privateers fired the forts and batteries, the cannon were discharged, the platoons followed, and every face appeared joyful…After dinner the King’s Arms were taken down from the State House and every vestige of him from every place in which it appeared, and burnt…Thus ends royal Authority in this State…and all the people shall say Amen.” Abigail Adams letter to John describing Tom Crafts, a house painter, reading of the Declaration of Independence aloud on July 19, 1776 from small balcony in front of the Massachusetts State House, Boston.
  • 15. 15 U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A!
  • 16. 16 The United States was the first nation to be designed into being. We were invented. The establishment of the United States was an audacious act of creativity. We are a creative work. We are a work in progress. "The War was no part of the Revolution...It was only an effect and consequence of it. The Revolution was in the minds of the people, and this was effected...years before a drop of blood was drawnat Lexington." - John Adams, 1815 letter to Thomas Jefferson. America, the invented country…
  • 17. 17 What one word best describes the American experience?
  • 18. 18 Creativity is our promise 43,000,000 people in U.S. born abroad
  • 19. 19 Creativity is our promise
  • 20. The Creativity Imperative 20 I.I. Rabi won the 1944 Nobel Physics Prize for his work on the Manhattan Project. - born in Austria - came to America as infant - father worked making women’s blouses in a sweatshop - Rabi was a brilliant student, became a physicist - leading member of the Manhattan Project On the occasion of the award a journalist asked, What did Rabi think of this great honor? “What do I think? I think that in the old country I would have been a tailor.” - David Halberstam, “Defining a Nation – Our America and the Sources of its Strength,” 2003.
  • 21. 21 From 1906 to 2012 – 320 U.S. citizens have been awarded Nobel Prizes. 82 were foreign-born (including Isidor Rabi).
  • 22. The Creativity Imperative 22 Tom’s Story
  • 23. 23 Tom’s Unified Theory of Civic Creativit y
  • 24. 24 • The establishment of America was a daring act of creativity • Creativity feeds democracy and democracy feeds creativity • The freedom to invent yourself without reference to pedigree or status at birth = Opportunity • Opportunity drives economic gain • Governments can create or remove barriers to creativity & opportunity • Everyone can be a creative citizen! Creativity and our heritage…