Stanford’s Crash Course on Creativity – Week 1

Tina Seelig at TEDx Stanford
Tina Seelig at TEDx Stanford (Photo credit: Tamer Shabani Photography)

Last week’s assignment was two-fold

  1. Watch Tina Seelig’s TedxStanford Talk A Crash Course on Creativity
  2. Prepare a presentation of what you share with your team mates

I like doing number 2 better than number 1. Let’s face it, choosing to sit through creativity 101 for me is like being an experienced deep-sea diver sitting through a class on how to swim.  I fidget galore.  Truthfully, there’s nothing new so far in the content that hasn’t been part of the literature spanning the past 30 years.  Still, I am sticking with the program to learn what Tina feels people must know about creativity and, to have a good time collaborating with my virtual team.

The opening remarks to the program offers four key ways to enhance natural creativity. These by mention foreshadow the tools she’ll share to enhance creative capacities:  identifying opportunities, re-framing problems, challenging assumptions and connecting ideas.

I like that she supports creativity as knowledge,  imagination and attitude, not far from the late creativity researcher and mentor from the International Center for Studies in Creativity Ruth Noller’s writing and teaching in the 1970’s that creativity is a function of attitude on knowledge, imagination and evaluation.

As for  attitude, Seelig says people must see each challenge as an opportunity for creativity. “Every problem is an opportunity for a creative solution.  The bigger the problem, the bigger the opportunity.” Brilliant, ain’t it? Actually, I find this a helpful reminder.

The BEST part so far is getting to know my teammates.  We were randomly assigned to work together and we vary in age, experience, interests and geography, technical skills, it’s a hoot!  Right now we’re in the midst of putting together an online presentation of our similarities to share with the class (of close to 30,000). Deadline is 11:59 PST Tuesday night.  Will keep you informed as life goes on.

Now it’s time to go back to Seelig’s TedxStanford talk to see how much I can tolerate in one sitting.  Thankful for the pause button, and of course, the course. 🙂


Marci Segal