Out of Our Minds

The Power of Being Creative
About Author/s: 

Sir Ken Robinson has been transfixing audiences for years on the creative challenges facing business and education. A professor of education at the University of Warwick, he is perhaps best known for his 2006 TED talk - still the most watched in TED history. He is acknowledged as a leading thinker on creativity and innovation by the likes of Fast Company and Thinkers50.

Context: 

As Robinson notes in his preface to this 3rd edition (the first was published in 2000) "The more complex the world becomes, the more creative we need to be to meet the challenges". This book is aimed at reigniting that creativity and persuading people that they are more creative than they believe.

Core Idea:

"The very title of this book is clever. 'Out of Our Minds', indicates a certain madness (in the educational system, we presume), but it is also where all creativity comes from. Robinson's crusade is to change educational practices so that creativity is fostered and creative confidence enabled. Traditional education tends to eradicate rather than promote creativity. Universities have long given degrees to would-be managers for studying English Literature and Art History, where those who actually act and paint only received diplomas. The role of being creative has typically been seen as happening individually or a long-way from the office. He wants the 'suits' to realise they can be 'creatives' too. 

At the centre of Robinson's issue is the premium educators place on academic achievement, over the many other learnt skills necessary for business and other life needs. He looks to transform education systems, noting that ""at the heart of this transformation there has to be a radically different view of human intelligence and of creativity"". 

He rails against the notion that education is entirely about preparation for the future, ""[education] is also about helping people engage with the present"". This future focus has led to premiums being put on subjects believed to be relevant for the future, ie STEMS, even though life is rarely that linear. The arts and humanities comes further down the list - as they are seen as less 'useful'.

Robinson sees education as providing three core roles: economic (skills to earn a living); cultural (skills to deepen understanding of world around us); and personal (individual talents and sensibilities). The solution to providing creativity and innovation is ensuring a diverse mix of these three. 

Conclusion:

Robinson's call - and suggestions for new educational structures and processes - is a rallying cry for anyone serious about finding solutions to the fast-paced complexity of the modern world.This new edition features a new introduction, case studies, updated statistics and revised sections on technological developments and the growing pressure on the educational system.

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Title: Out of Our Minds: The Power of Being Creative

Author/s Name/s: Sir Ken Robinson

Publisher: Capstone

ISBN: 978-0-857-08741-6

Publishing Date: October 2017

Number of Pages: 237

Author Knowledge Rating: 1-5 (based on their years of experience, academic expertise in subject areas, and exposure to cross-functional thinking in the area)

Readability: 1-5 score(1=dense and v academic; 5=frantic; page turner)

Appropriate Length: (1=could have been written in 25% of the length;5=could have been longer)

Core Idea Value: (1=nonsense (or entirely esoteric); 5=game-changer)

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