Oklahoma involves citizens in creative thinking processes: here's how

Seal of Oklahoma.
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The US State of Oklahoma started a campaign for new ideas in 2007 by asking for submissions to be included in a book that was to be titled, 100 Ideas.  Facilitated workshops were held around the state at various locations to collect new thinking from Oklahomans that would improve the future.

These could not be willy-nilly wishes, criteria for acceptable new idea book inclusions were stated up front. Oklahoma distributed  Fundamental Principles for Book Ideas on business cards to manage expectations of the idea givers.

  1. Relevant to Day-to-Day Life. Every idea should speak to the real hopes and real anxieties of real Oklahomans.  They must be relevant to day-to-day life.  That means we need to talk alot less and listen a lot more.
  2. Focus on the Future. Each idea should be about the future. Every single idea should make Oklahoma a better place to live and work – not jut for us here today, but for our children, 20 years from now – and their children as well.
  3. Do Not Expand the Role of Government. No idea should necessarily expand the role of government.  there are too any instances of government letting people down, failing or trapping them in a cycle of dependency. These ideas should not be anti-government and anti-interference.  People can often accomplish more than the government better than the government.

The published book remains downloadable at http://www.100ideasok.us/.  Sadly, the last posts on that site are from 2008, and the link to give ideas no longer works.

Does that mean Oklahoma no longer wants ideas from its citizens?  Probably not. It’s more likely the emphasis shifted away from government into the education realm with the birth of Oklahoma State University’s Institute for Creativity and Innovation.

It would be great if the 100 ideas folk linked up with OSU’s ICI, at least on the web, to show continuity from the beginnings of giving creativity a voice in Oklahoma through to its sanctioning of a degree granting institute.

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The format for the workshops to gather new thinking for your organization’s or team’s  future is a great one. You can use it to safely open the door to allow breathing space for creative thinking to occur.  Nifty notion to noodle for your World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21 celebration for 2011!

Let me know if you want help designing it so no harm is done. We’ve got a team of volunteers who will do it for you in exchange for donation to World Creativity and Innovation Week.