When we asked technology queen Lynda Weinman (of Lynda.com in Carpinteria) to interview Sir Ken Robinson, the last thing we worried about was a malfunctioning device. But that’s what happened when the company phone system failed to record her conversation with the best-selling British author and speaker, best known for his work on fostering creativity and innovation. So Weinman had to ditch the machines and rely on her own brain to relay the following article by memory, which Sir Ken — who comes to UCSB on February 21 — has graciously verified for us as completely accurate.
What he’ll discuss: His two books: Out of Our Minds, which is about the importance of creativity, and The Element, which is about the nature of talent and finding your passion. When asked to revise Out of Our Minds, which was published a decade ago, he thought it would take him a weekend. Once he dug in, he rewrote every word, so there’s a lot of updating even for those who’ve already read the book. He’ll also discuss how creativity has been stifled in education and what we need to do to change it.
Why creativity is his star subject: He realized that creativity is the pivotal trait that separates us from other species. It is the crux of what makes us happy and productive. Every profession — even science and math — requires creativity, and those who lack creativity are left behind.
Who teaches creativity well? The A+ Program, which started in Missouri in 1993, partners students with private industry, providing mentors, exemplars, and real-world experiences.
Is optimism possible? Always erring on the side of optimism, Sir Ken reminds that innovation always follows scarcity, and that no one can predict the future. We just have to assume the best.
How to effect change in education: In this last year, he’d been asked to speak at 60 different events, and his TED talk has been downloaded more than 10 million times. He hasn’t been booed off the stage yet, so he’s pretty certain that the majority of people who hear his talks agree with him.
Sir Ken Robinson comes to UCSB’s Campbell Hall on Tuesday, February 21, at 8 p.m.