|Source: BK, Creative Commons|
But, is there a link between creativity, innovation and income? David Byrne (of Talking Heads1 fame) recently lamented that New York had had it’s creative elements drained by inequality. Byrne had witnessed the rise of the financial sector and the dramatic increase in inequality that went with it. He summed it up by saying that “any businesses that might have employed creative individuals were having difficulties surviving and, naturally, the arty types had a hard time finding employment.”
Whether Byrne’s subjective conclusion is correct or not, his point cannot be easily dismissed. In a world in which 45% of the world’s population live below the poverty line of $2 per day two questions arise. Are we a) denying some of our fellow human beings the chance to explore their creative intelligence and b) missing the opportunity of utilising potentially creative minds?
Our world has become increasingly complex and we now face some issues that require our collective intelligence and creativity to solve or adapt to. We cannot rely on those on extremely high incomes or those with enormous wealth having the creativity (let alone the motivation) to work with this complexity.
The very complexity of these issues requires much wider inputs than those presently available in our leaders and decision-makers. The issues facing us are multi-faceted. They combine technology, science, resources and economics, much as has often been the case . However, the issues are also contributed to by social, cultural and spiritual features.
The problem is that most of our world leaders and decision-makers come from very similar backgrounds and experience. New, innovative and creative ideas are not highly likely to emerge from such homogeneity. One commentator has likened it to throwing a hook into a school of fish. You will get an idea, but it is likely to be just like any other that would have ended up on the hook.
To get the ideas that we require in order to tackle the complex issues of today we need two things:
- Diversity. We need a much greater range of backgrounds, experiences and skills in our collective decision-making forums.
- Collective Mindset. Creative solutions are most likely to emerge from how we communicate and relate to one another.
Indeed. In such a space we can all participate, we can all help create the ideas for transforming our world. We don’t need to pay enormous amounts to an expert to do it either.
Let’s get creative.
1. Talking Heads was one of the most critically acclaimed bands of the 1980s, helping to introduce new wave to the world. David Byrne was the lead vocalist and guitarist for the band.
2. David Bohm is credited with proposing a form of dialogue that is “a freely-flowing group conversation in which participants attempt to reach a common understanding, experiencing everyone's point of view fully, equally and nonjudgmentally.” Now it is often referred to as Bohmian Dialogue.