Creativity World Forum
Inspirational insights of Creativity World Forum 2017 | Aarhus, Denmark
author: @marge
What is #CWF2017
This year Creativity World Forum took place in a truly Danish city called Aarhus. Top global creative leaders and thinkers, like Steve Vranakis (GOOGLE CREATIVE LAB), Tom Kelley (IDEO) and Frederik Andersen (VICE), gathered last week in this capital of danish happiness called "hygge". 2 days, 27 venues, more than 2000 participants, more than 38 different breakout sessions and a great party. That is how it was. Seems like all the progressive danish crowd gathered here, mixed with international creatives from all over the world, including me, a representative of unknown creative heart of Eastern Europe called Belarus.


An honor to start the conference was entrusted to Tom Kelley, general manager and partner of renowned IDEO agency that provides consulting in the field of design and innovation and works all over the world, from San Francisco to Tokyo. It must be admitted, this guy with remarkable moustache really rocked the stage. In a very engaging manner he shared the results of their work, which mainly consists of the daily practice of innovation, his thoughts after talking with Steve Jobs, and on how best ideas are born, and etc.
In his speech Tom proclaimed:
"Creativity is not someone possess and others — do not".
Tom Kelley has written a book about Сreative Confidence , describing it as is a skill which we all can develop and which is giving us an oppurtunity to be:
A. resilient in today's fast changing world,
B. ready for innovations to happen;

Creative confidence is also the very instrument, which helps us in design-thinking (user-centered method of creation of products)
~
Tom Kelley has identified three pillars, on which design-thinking is standing:
- empathy;
- experimenting;
- storytelling.
For developing empathy skill while creating a your product, Tom adveses to practice one very interesting state of mind, which he calls "vujade". We all know French word dejavu, which applies to situations when we find ourselves in moments which seemed to be already happened with us before and we know it. Tom proposes to practice the opposite feeling — vujade — the situation when we don't know anything as if we have appeared somewhere for the first time in our life. What is like to use this pen if you don't know how to use it? Or to open this box or sit in this chair as if no one had ever said you before how to do it?
"The world is not made of atoms, it is made of stories"
When Tom begins to talk about the role storyteling, he recalls how once Steve Jobs presented the iPod. It was a real technical breakthrough, but the presentation wasn't full of complicated technical terms. Instead, Steve just picked up this tiny iPod and said: "This is 10,000 songs in your pocket", — and everyone immediately wanted to get that magic thing.
Steve Vranakis, director of Google Creative Lab
Steve Vranakis from Google Creative Lab decided to not make the presentation, but rather have an informal talk with founder of BA program Kreativ Kommunikation and amazing conference host Dorte Nielsen. They were talking about several interesting projects in terms of Google Creative Lab, including innovative jean jacket Jacquard — a project developed in collaboration with Levis, which is aimed to make the life of cyclists around the globe easier with the help of an interactive touch-screen, literally sewn into the sleeve.
«We are all creative activists here»
Eventually, what made almost the entire audience to stand up, was the story which Steve covered in the second part of his speech. He shared his memories of a regular Google's conference in Dublin, which he attended as a participant. Back then, question about the Syrian refugees in Greece was raised from the stage. Steve recalls his raspy as never before voice, in which he told to the crowd: "I'm from Greece. We need to do something with it." For the realization of this "something" he was given 36 hours. The conference ended on Friday evening, on Saturday Steve and the team alredy have been talking with the refugees and volunteers in the Greek Islands, and on Monday they presented the finished product - an information hub Refugee.info, which has been built using Google instruments. It allows people who have just disembarked from boats obtain vital information in their own language, from the very simple question of where they are, to the information on the locations of points of assistance and legal issues. Since its launch in 2015, the platform has helped 170,000 refugees. For the moment the site comes to 1000 people a day.
Street exhibition "HIPSTORY" by Shimoni Illustrations
One of the most influencial arctiherct of our days — Jan Gehl — was responsible for acrhitecture on Creativity World Forum. Despite, or probably even due to, his tremendous experience, he talked to the audience like to an old friend, with whom he is sitting in the bar and sharing his pure wisdom as simple as it is: to create better quality of living we need a REAL creativity, not doodling. Modernism was a good example of real creativity — everything had to be new. But there is one point. Before we focused on spaces, and modernism declared to focus on objects. It means, goodbye to people and human scale. That led to "Brasilia syndrome", when urban landscape has a fantastic view from helicopter and is terrible to actually live in it because the human scale was absolutely neglected. That is what Jan Gehl calls "birdshit" architecture: numerous skyscraper towers which were thrown out of the airplanes to the city without no attention to what will be between those towers.
"We shape the cities but then the cities shape us"
Jan Gehl
What is an ideal public space? Yan Gehl provides us with a well-known example - Campo Siena square in Italy and asks the question: what made it feel so "ideal" to us? There are three key points, which distinguish Campo Siena and which Jan proposes to put our attention to while designing modern spaces. It's Safety, Comfort, and Enjoyment. Futhermore, Jan continues to talk about the fact that the best public spaces are not created by «starchitects», but by the owners of restaurants, hotels, amusement parks. Why? Because they actually know the PEOPLE. And this is exactly the point which every architect should concentrate on.
Famous Danish neurology and psychology scientist Peter Lund Medsen shared his knowledge on how good ideas come to us with in terms of the brain structure. Most often, the magic of creativity happens on a subconscious level. It is necessary to allow our brain to do anything! It will figuire everything out on a subconscious level, coming back to us with an unexpectedly good solution or creative idea. Nevertheless, in the digital age "doing nothing" became a very difficult task. Earlier, in the industrial era, we were returning home after a monotonous physical work with a tired body and relaxed brain. Now all is vis a versa: our brain, in contrast to the body, is very tired after an intense working day, and instead getting quality rest afterwards, we offer him ... social networks scrolling, which makes the situation even worse. A good book on this subject is How To Be Bored by Eva Hoffman. Though, the book corresponds to its name so good, that several pages are enough to get to sleep.

Peter Lund Madsen:
Creativity is a human condition
"Creativity — is exactly what defines Homo Sapiens from Neanderthal man,
and what helped us to survive on this planet"
Peter Lund Madsen

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Peter concludes his speech by traveling to the era of the Neanderthals. He comes to the conclusion that creativity is a human condition. It basically means that this is exactly what defines Homo Sapiens from Neanderthal man, and what helped us to survive on this planet.
The author expresses her gratitude for the inspiring atmosphere to the forum organizers, as well as her husband, who in response to her question, "Do you think this is a good idea to take a plane ticket to Copenhagen, to spend there the night with friends, then in the morning to catch the train to Aarhus, move into a hostel and run back to the opening of the CreativityWorld Forum? " he said confidently: "Yes!"
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