Global Innovation

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A musical group performs at the 2013 Creativity World Forum, which was held in Belgium. Photo courtesy Creative Oklahoma.
A musical group performs at the 2013 Creativity World Forum, which was held in Belgium. Photo courtesy Creative Oklahoma.

An international meeting of the minds is about to take place in the Sooner State.

“This year’s event will be the second time Oklahoma has hosted the Creativity World Forum, an annual event of the international Districts of Creativity network, based in Flanders, Belgium,” explains Creative Oklahoma President Susan McCalmont. “Oklahoma is the only North American region represented in the network.”

Two thousand people from the 13 official districts are expected to attend.

“Additionally, there will be representation from three other international regions outside this formal network, with whom Oklahoma is working to advance creativity and innovation – Northern Ireland, Rwanda and Chile,” adds McCalmont.

The theme for the 2015 forum is “All Our Futures: Ideas That Matter.”

It’s always exciting for people to come together around the common theme of new ideas and hope for the future, and I think this year will be no exception.

All Our Futures was the title of Ken Robinson’s seminal work in the UK under Prime Minister Tony Blair that helped to define the role of creativity in education for that country and led to his leadership role in the creativity movement internationally,” says McCalmont. “The tagline of ‘Ideas That Matter’ is an important theme, as it highlights the focus on ideation as a driver for regions that prosper economically and are able to solve some of the most pressing societal issues.”

The innovators, entrepreneurs and those aspiring to be among them will discuss the importance of creativity in business through workshops and with the help of forum speakers, including Robinson. Guests will also hear from Michael Strautmanis, a former White House employee and current vice president of Strategic Programs for Corporate Citizenship at the Walt Disney Corporation; Stephan Turnipseed, the president of LEGO Education; and Scott Barry Kaufman, the scientific director of The Imagination Institute. The forum will also showcase performing artists to help inspire guests.

The forum provides the attendees an opportunity to network and learn from each other.

“It’s always exciting for people to come together around the common theme of new ideas and hope for the future, and I think this year will be no exception with the diversity of individuals from around the U.S. and globe gathering here in Oklahoma to share their common issues but together trying to come up with new solutions to those common problems,” says McCalmont.

She encourages anyone who wants to make a difference to come experience what the event has to offer.

“I think that attending this forum would be of benefit to anyone interested in expanding their creative and innovative capacities – students, teachers, parents, workers, retirees,” she says. “We want all Oklahomans to know that they are welcome to attend.”

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