Your Brain on Creativity

Brain On Creativity

“The real voyage of discovery lies not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust

Yesterday I attended a Webinar given by the Stanford Centre for Professional Development (SCPD) – you have to love webinars, you can interact with amazing people and you don’t have to leave your house. Anyway, the Webinar was entitled “How to Cultivate Creativity using Design Thinking”. I must admit, I’ve been a Design Thinking follower for a few years now and didn’t expect to find anything new but you never know what you are going to hear – especially as the talk was to be given by Bill Burnett, Executive Director at the d. school.

Design Thinking is usually seen as a process for innovation but Burnett says it is also about unlocking potential and building creative confidence. He talked about how DT is about mindsets:

  1. Reframing
  2. Mindfulness of Process
  3. Curiosity – about who you are designing for
  4. Bias towards action
  5. Radical Collaboration

He talked a little about how we are creative as children but how school is about control and being different is not well received in traditional education systems. He also talked about neural Darwinism – did you know that following the pack is evolutionary – we all needed to afraid of the same predators to survive. But even more interesting – your brain works at about 40 watts, and it uses about 25% of your daily calorie intake. It never even occurred to me that it used any. Apparently creativity uses more brain power – and as we have evolved to conserve energy your brain has evolved not to be creative for the same reason. We have lazy brains…but with a little help we can whip those brain muscles into shape. Maybe it could burn a few more calories…


I’ll pick up on this webinar later – there is much more but short and sweet is the way..

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