What’s Broken is the We — some thoughts on creativity for the common good

This paper is based on vivian Hutchinson’s keynote speech to the New Zealand Creativity Challenge conference held in Taranaki 27-28 April 2013.


The paper covers reflections on creativity and social entrepreneurship, and the work of Community Taranaki – a citizen-based approach to community development and the regeneration of our community sector.

It can be read online here or download PDF (for printing) at http://tinyurl.com/vivianWe13


For more information www.vivianhutchinson.org.nz


Ralph Kerle, an Australian friend and founder of the Creative Skills Training Council, who came across the ditch [that’s what we New Zealanders call the water between Australia and New Zealand] for The 1st NZ Creativity Challenge finished the challenge off in a novel, entertaining and enlightening way – with Haikugami.

Here is a link to Ralph doing haikugami:   igniteshow.com/videos/haikugami-lost-ancient-art

New perspectives abound  . . . And horizons becoming clearer  . . . . Most inspirational time ever

Creativity Challenge – a Smash Hit!

The First NZ Creativity Challenge created, managed and delivered by Wayne Morris and his local team of volunteers and sponsors was a smash hit!!
As a first –up international creativity conference, this is about as good as it gets.

The conference opened with a Maori language opening ceremony setting the scene for a unique New Zealand experience by acknowledging the local Maori and invoking their ancestors to welcome the visitors onto their lands

Coralie Winn of Gap Filler gave one of the best opening key note presentations I have ever seen at a creativity conference. It focused on Coralie’s work after the Christchurch earthquake disasters in which she formed a small group to activate vacant sites destroyed by the earthquakes within the central city environs of Christchurch with creative projects. The work took her into the domain of prototyping and experimenting with “temporary urban design” and the results are quite astonishing. The concept of a Dance-O-Mat was worth the price of the conference alone. Check out the Gap Filler web site

Vivian Hutchinson, New Plymouth Social Entrepreneur gave a stirring afternoon key note “How Communities Awaken” in which he argued we are colonialised by a contracting culture in which business and government conspire to maintain the status quo with cost as the main reason. In these times of further and further fiscal restraints foisted upon us by the spin of these parties intent on shoring up their own incomes, he exhorted us to surface what he called the Creativity of WE – to form social enterprises built on a model of reflection, resilience and regeneration enabling us to disengage from these colonialising constraints.

As is always the case, I was not able to attend all the workshops I would have liked, yet I only heard good reports about most.

Francois Coetzee’s workshop using Appreciative Inquiry was one I did attend and really enjoyed revisiting the technique from Francois’s South African perspective. Tim Hurson nominated Francois for the CSTC and I was able to second it on the spot so watch out for his short bio when it comes through the network. His specialization, Enterprise Architecture, will add another layer of knowledge to the CSTC.

Tim Hurson’s Saturday Night Key Note set the scene for some great poetry, music and entertainment in New Plymouth’s downtown Mayfair nightclub.

On Sunday morning I had the great fortune to attend a Circle Workshop led by Paora Joseph, a contemporary Maori filmmaker. It never ceases to amaze me when you ask people to talk about their creativity and passion what happens. This circle was one of those circles that was intending to go in one direction but instead, took off and flew half way through to an intensely deeper and more spiritual level as stories such as a Maori grandmother revealing the joy and purpose she had found recently in working with violent offenders and their families; a Maori elder’s story about the tension in Maori culture, its survival and resurgence into respectability whilst not yet being able to find the middle ground with the pakeha (people of non Maori background), a revelation about the meaning of husbandry by a gardener who had planted some 15,000 saplings in the local area in his life whilst thinking about the lack of male role models in the world and how nature dealt with those circumstances and a beautiful exchange between a recent immigrant to New Zealand, a young German man with four children still looking for his identity and purpose in life. He was asked by Paora whether he had developed a relationship with the local mountain, Mt Taranaki, on his walks in his search for his identity. Mt Taranaki, a large extinct volcano that dominates New Plymouth and the surrounding areas, holds a very important spiritual place in Maori culture. The young man said not yet but he was becoming more comfortable with it!! Paora smiled!

New Plymouth somehow feels right for a creativity conference. It didn’t have to try. It just was open and ready and the participants and the local community felt it.

For me, catching up with many CSTC friends, Elisabeth Vaneveld, Tim Hurson, Robert Alan Black (who seems to be growing younger as the years go by), David Kayrouz and of course the host and creator of the event, Wayne Morris made it all that more special.

This conference has the potential to become one of the great creativity conferences…

Kind regards,
Ralph Kerle
CSTC Moderator

Creativity – Lessons from Masters [90 min workshop]

Creativity – lessons from Masters
Bruce Hammonds [New Zealand]

(Bring along pencil and paper to undertake activities to develop creativity)

This  interactive presentation acknowledges the importance of creativity but faces up to why it is that creativity is not central to in our personal lives, our organisations and in particular our schools .

Why is creativity so important? Do we all have the potential to be creative?

What is it that blocks creativity in our lives and in our organisations? Why do so many of us give up?

What do we have to change to create conditions so that creativity will flourish?

What are lessons we can learn from masters in any field past and present? What do such individuals have in common and how can we apply their lessons to our own lives, the organisations we work in and the students we teach?

Do we really understand the creative process; the need to value the apprenticeship stage in creativity; and the importance of effort, grit, and practice? Why are schools (and organisations generally) so destructive to student creativity? Why is it that many creative people found schooling difficult? What traits do such people have that still enable them to realize their creative potential?

Is it really possible for us all to be creative? Can we develop all organisations to encourage creativity? And, most important of all, how can we re-imagine schools so that all students are able to develop their own unique set of talents and leave with positive learning identities.

The presentation will cover the ideas of such creativity gurus as Sir Ken Robinson, Howard Gardner, Guy Claxton, Robert Greene and Elwyn Richardson as well as insights Bruce has picked up from his own attempts at creativity and from the creative teachers he has worked with.

Bruce Hammonds

Bruce is a humorous and enthusiastic presenter who has survived a long career in education.  He believes strongly that the true purpose of education is developing the talents and gifts of all students. He began his career as a nature study specialist, was transformed into a science adviser. His role was to assist teachers learn about their environment and for them to value the questions and ideas of their students. Later he became a classroom teacher in an attempt to put creative teaching ideas into action himself.  After a brief spell as an art adviser he was appointed a school principal where he tried to develop a school based on valuing student creativity. He completed his career as an independent learning adviser and has been invited to share his ideas both nationally and internationally.

He still worries that education is  as uncreative as ever with too many students leaving with little to show for their attendance at a time when developing the talents of all citizens is the most important thing a country can focus on. As we enter the 21stC we desperately need to transform our education system to ensure the diverse and unique talents of all learners are valued and amplified.

He continues to share creative teaching ideas through his blog   http://leading-learning.blogspot.co.nz/  but is now occupies himself developing his large wilderness garden, trying to take his own advice to become an artist and wondering where all the years went

If you want to be more creative change your habits! [90 min workshop]

You will never be more creative than you are now if you keep doing what you always do. This workshop will help you discover what you need to do to uncover the creativity in your life

  • identify the seven habits of highly creative people
  • identify which habits are supporting your creativity and plan to enhance them
  • identify which habits are undermining your creativity and develop strategies for creating better ones

Wayne Morris

Wayne is the founder of Future Edge Ltd, a New Zealand based consultancy that specializes in applying ‘whole brain’ approaches to leading, learning and creating. Having originally trained as a teacher he has taught creative arts across all New Zealand education sectors. He is also an experienced trainer of teachers. He has spent the last 20 years working across a wide range of business, industry and community sectors.  He is an experienced, pragmatic and entertaining trainer and coach. He has the academic qualifications in organisational development, vocational education and training, and a broad business experience that supports his work. He has facilitated a range of leadership development workshops inNew Zealandand creativity workshops in New Zealand ,Singapore, Namibia, Dubai, Canada and South Africa. Wayne is also an artist with works in collections in New Zealand and overseas. He is a percussion addict and plays drums in several bands. He is the author of the recently published book ‘The Creative Edge Workshop’.




Saturday Night

For those who have registered for the conference but not for the Saturday night you might want to reconsider when you have a look at the line-up.

A part from a brilliant buffet meal at the recently restored Mayfair http://www.themayfair.co.nz/ [this used to be the picture theatre where I went to the movies as a kid] we will have:

  • A keynote from Canadian Tim Hurson. You can see Tim in action here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62PgFb2cXSg
  • A performance by Alina Siegfried who is the current New Zealand Poetry Slam champion (performance poetry competition)
  • A performance by the HITMEN. You may have seen them in New Zealand’s Got Talent. This them in action. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3nkBJDxahE
  • and to top it all off one of the best country rock / blues bands around – and I say this from experience. I am their drummer so I may be a little biased www.facebook.com/pages/Hard-Candy/116569885066198?ref=hl
  • and some surprises that I’m not going to reveal because then they wouldn’t be surprises!!
  • All this for only $35.
  • Go to Lilregie and get yourself a place for Saturday night. You may well regret it if you don’t!