Steve Jobs is famously quoted as saying 'Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things'. We 'see' possibilities through our imagination and we are open to possibilities when we have a need or an interest of both of these things.
I have a need and an interest in producing the next issue of Lifewide Magazine which is already overdue and last Sunday, motivated by this need and interest I made new connections between three things that already exist - the idea of google+ communities, my urgent need to produce the next issue of Lifewide Magazine and the idea of 'crowd sourcing'. They came together in the idea that we could crowd sourcing the content for the next issue of Lifewide Magazine using a google+ platform to provide the technological affordance. I also connected the theme of creativity as I wanted this issue to be concerned with 'personal stories of how people have been creative in their own lives'. After sounding out my colleagues and receiving encouragement to go ahead, I set up the google+ community and I spent yesterday connecting to other google+ and Linkedin communities inviting people to join our crowd sourcing project and community. I also sent out many personal invitations to people I thought might be interested.
So perhaps these are the initial acts in what for me is bringing entirely new social practice into existence in order to accomplish something I value - the making of a magazine. To do this II have to invent and make a process that will bring people together and enable them to create the content. I am greatly helped by the technological tools I am able to access and now use. But I also know from my experience of #creativeHE that I how I interact with people who chose to participate will determine the quality of what is achieved.
All this fits very neatly into my understanding of how my creativity happens which Carl Rogers expresses far better than I could - 'creativity is the emergence in action of a novel relational product growing out of the uniqueness of the individual on the one hand, and the materials, events, people, or circumstances of his life' (Rogers 1961).
I recognise that am enlisting my creativity in the service of achieving a small personal goal but a goal that will have social impact since 1) I am hoping to persuade people to join my project to collaborate to co-create the magazine 2) Once the magazine is produced and distributed many other people will be exposed to the results of this 'making' process. If I was to categorise my creativity using the Kaufman and Bhergheto model I think I am operating in the Pro-c domain.
But having an idea that connects two or three other ideas to create something new, and getting a process started, is only a small part of the story. The most important part of the story has yet to happen. Over the next three or four weeks I know that I will have to keep on acting and inventing in order to energise the process to achieve the goal. I have no control over the detail of what happens, it will emerge, but I can keep nudging people who join the process, to encourage stuff to emerge.
The point of my story is that none of this would have happened without my experience of the #creativeHE open learning experience. It has provided me with the insights and practical experience and given me the confidence to try something for myself.
So thanks to all of you who have been part of this process and I invite all members of #creativeHE (and any other reader) to share a story of your own creativity in any aspect of your life, through a post in 'Our Creative Life' community website https://plus.google.com/communities/106367720977059375674