Meetings and Events

    The Flaming Lips and Economic Development

    flaminglips1Consider Attending the Creativity World Forum 2015

    As many of you know I’ve participated in the annual State of Creativity Forum in Oklahoma for several years. I’ve written here previously about how effective their model is in getting broad-based involvement, participation, and attendance. This is arguably the most successful creativity conference in the world right now. Those interested in the creativity and innovation field should attend Creativity World Forum 2015 if at all possible. It’s affordable, the content is superb, and it’s a great networking opportunity. It’s in just a few weeks, so register, and make plans now to arrive in Oklahoma City for the March 31st one day event. The illustrious Sir Ken Robinson is  returning as a keynoter (he has a long history with the conference and the state of Oklahoma) and there is a terific line up of speakers from Disney, Lego, Faber-Castell, and other notables from government and education. But wait, there’s more…

    The Creativity Forum Conference as a Trigger for Economic Development

    This is a great conference for all the usual reasons, but it’s interesting the role a conference like this can have (and has had) on real world economic development. Music fans know that a lot of great talent emerges from Oklahoma — and then moves to Nashville or Austin. Exporting cultural talent is never a good idea if you want to grow the quality of life, and, bottom line, jobs in a region. Jobs and money follow on culture (see Richard Florida). In cities like Nashville, Austin, and San Francisco, technology, manufacturing, and good paying jobs grew dramatically after those cities established a thriving arts culture. Why? Because creative people (of all kinds, not just artists, designers, technologists, etc.) like living in culturally rich places, and, creative people start companies and invent things. And big companies like locating where there is a rich talent pool. Oklahoma City has turned the corner on talent exporting, let me explain.

    Oklahoma City is Emerging as a Creative Cultural Center 

    and — What do the Flaming Lips have to do with Economic Development?

    Here’s an economic development story case-in-point: the good news to report is that as a result of a conversation held several years ago — at the very start of the Creativity Forum — a fantastic music school is prospering in Oklahoma City. The Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) was not a sparkle in anyone’s eye in 2005 when the former president of the University of Central Oklahoma, Roger Webb, and an unknown music promoter, Scott Booker met. Booker happened to be the manager of an OKC based rock band, The Flaming Lips.  In talking, Scott revealed to Dr. Webb that he had graduated as a history major from the University of Central Oklahoma several years prior, but he perhaps could give back to his university and help build the music culture in Oklahoma by teaching a class in music business.

    It’s quite a story how that random discussion evolved into a new school that now boasts 500 students in the Bricktown entertainment district area of Oklahoma City. The initial idea grew from one class to an entire curricula. Sir Ken Robinson suggested networking with Paul McCartney’s old school in Liverpool. They visited the ACM school in Guilford, UK, and eventually the University of Central Oklahoma created an ACM degree and school. The school (an official branch of the UK school) has been in operation since 2009, growing fast, and is attracting students from around the USA. Scott Booker is CEO . The school has pulled in such diverse artists as Daft Punk, Ben Folds, and Jackson Browne — to name just a few — to teach and share. If I were 18 and wanting to grow as a music professional I’d go there!

    The founding of the school is a direct result of Oklahoma making a decision to support creativity and the conference. When they established the conference in 2005 and invested in staff (President Susan McCalmont is a hands-on visionary) they didn’t know what the results would be, but they had faith in the idea. They took a calculated risk, and their continued support has allowed for the lovely gestation of real world results.  The result of the music school, and the jobs and money flowing into Oklahoma City because of it — is just a beginning, and a very good one. A flourishing arts community bodes well for the economic future of the city and the state.

    Kudos Oklahoma, let’s keep hearing such good news. I have no doubt we will. And go to the conference, who knows what magic might happen.

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    FAQ Re: Dr. Alan Black

    Greetings from gray and chilly Three Oaks, Michigan. As gloomy as it is, I’m grateful to be here and free. Freedom is not something we should take for granted. Later this morning I’ll take a walk outside around my pond and say prayers for my friend Alan Black. I might take a photograph. When he’s released I hope he’ll come visit me here so we can enjoy a walk outside together — and photograph whatever catches our eye. Below is the latest information from Friends of Alan Black. The FAQ pretty much says it all. Much of this has been covered in news reports, but FAB thought it would be helpful to put all the facts into one document. Alan’s

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    Help Detained USA Citizen In Abu Dhabi

    This is a departure for this blog. While there is a direct connection to creativity and innovation it is essentially a press release written by concerned leaders in the creativity and innovation international community. One of our own, Dr. Robert Alan Black, has been detained in Abu Dhabi. The details are below. My request is that if you are so moved, please contact the offices of your elected officials. USA citizens can find contact information here.  Press Release For Immediate Release Contact:                     Rosemary Rein Phone number:       239-910-3354 Email:                         rosemaryrein@rosemaryrein.com   American Creativity Expert Detained In Abu Dhabi Friday October 31, 2014 – Athens, Georgia. Dr. Robert Alan Black, an Athens resident, is being held in Al Wathba prison in

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    Leaders Hate the Concept of Creativity

    SNARK ALERT I’m not trying to be snarky. I am snarky. I’ve always been snarky.  I like being snarky, it’s fun. Here’s the problem: Being snarky is a bit like being the boy that cried wolf. When you’re being a smart ass just for practice you often stretch the truth. Okay, I often throw the truth out the window to be funny or to shock — but not in this blogg! As a creativity and innovation writer I suppress my inner Snark in order to be taken seriously. But now I think I’m doing you a disservice. The value of SNARK is it can be a wakeup call. As an innovation thought leader, I’m here to help. You can improve, you can

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    Take Advantage — Innovate More for Less

    I’ve done 385 general interest creativity and innovation posts in the last few years. This post is different — it contains a commercial offer — albeit a fairly innovative one. If you’re not interested please ignore this post. Here’s the offer – I’ve decided to double the value I provide to my customers by offering a good old fashioned two-for-one deal. Why? I want to generate more buzz about my service offerings. To generate more buzz I want the perception of my value to be exceptional. So exceptional that people will talk , tweet, and refer. There is no sleight of hand here, I’ll be working twice for one fee. For both services delivered I won’t be cutting preparation time or the customization I

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    Love a Meeting Planner Day

    As Valentines Day approaches I’m reminded that everybody needs love. Even Meeting Planners. I’ve worked with many different meeting planners over the years and it’s a tough job. Endless details. Complex challenges. Ego’s to manage. Negotiations. Speakers to hire (ahem). Clients to please. Sore feet. Migranes. Exhaustion. Pre-meeting anxiety, post meeting collapses. I do appreciate Meeting Planners, but I wouldn’t want to be one! And always the unexpected. No matter how well planned an event is, something always happens that is unpredictable. Meeting Planners are often very creative in resolving problems. So, today January 30th, is Love a Meeting Planner Day. Why? Because I said so. I declare it. How to show the love today?  Here are 10 ways: Thank

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