Travel

    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 Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.  His family does not know if he’s been charged with a crime, or, if there’s been a date set for a hearing. Dr. Black currently does not have access to a phone.

    Robert Alan Black, Phd, CSP

    Robert Alan Black, Phd, CSP

    After speaking at a creativity conference in Abu Dhabi — as a volunteer — he took a walk alone to view local sites. This was sometime the morning of October 21. Dr. Black had not checked out of his room at his hotel. Alan, as he is known to his friends and family, walked out with his camera in hand. It’s not known exactly what happened, but sources in Abu Dhabi say that he was detained by the authorities because he took pictures in a restricted area.

    His detainment was not known until Dr. Black failed to show up at a speaking engagement in Malaysia. On October 27th his colleagues in the creativity and innovation community alerted his family of his absence and the search began. It was eventually discovered Dr. Black was being held by the authorities in Abu Dhabi. The United States Embassy in the U.A.E. has been alerted by Dr. Black’s family, and the Embassy has taken preliminary steps to advocate for Dr. Black.

    Upon discovery of the situation on October 30th, members of the creativity community launched a web-based petition, asking the Department of State of the USA, American Citizen Services Unit, to use every tool of diplomacy to secure the release of Dr. Black.  See: http://chn.ge/10zNU5u?share_id=XEkErfpNuH. As of 8:30 AM EST October 31, the petition had over 1,000 signatures.

    Alan Black illustration

    Alan Black illustration

    Dr. Black is a well-known, much-loved, and highly respected figure in the creativity community. Known as “Wandering Alan” because of his extensive world travels, his gentle and humorous teaching style underscores his sensitivity and creative genius. He’s been a featured speaker at many universities and conferences around the globe and has been a professional consultant in creativity and innovation since the early 1980’s. His customers include multi-national companies like Kimberly-Clark, Johnson & Johnson, and Nestle. He’s been a professor at the University of Georgia, and also lectured at Drexel University. Indeed, Dr. Black has dedicated his life to bring the power of creativity to many around the globe. A citizen of the world, he’s worked with disadvantaged youth in South Africa, and volunteered his time at many conferences around the world. Including conferences in Italy, Canada, Holland, Turkey, the UK, Korea, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, New Zealand, and Australia. At the time of his detainment, he was in Abu Dhabi donating his time teaching creative problem solving at the second annual Creative Thinkers Conference. The Creative Thinkers Conference was attended by government and public sector officials of the U.A.E. as well as educators and non-profit organizational leaders from many Arab Gulf countries.

    Broken Crayons is a book he wrote and illustrated which has been translated into Turkish, Japanese, and Slovakian. He’s published cartoons, done illustrations, and written articles for numerous publications. A former architect, and an avid photographer, he’s taken pictures of landscapes, buildings, andbrokencrayonscover500_002 people around the world. He’s highly qualified, with a BS in Architecture, and three Masters degrees in Visual Communication, Interior Architecture, and Guidance/Counseling. His doctorate is in educational psychology where he was a student of Dr. Paul Torrance. Dr. Black is also a Certified Speaking Professional, the highest designation of speaking skill given by the National Speakers Association in the USA.

    Dr. Black’s website shows the extent of his work and travels: http://www.cre8ng.com.

    Alan is a widowed father of two who lives in Athens, Georgia. He spends the majority of his time traveling the globe volunteering — speaking, teaching, and consulting. He’s 70 years old, and a diabetic, with high blood pressure and cholesterol problems. His daughter, Jessica Beasley of Sawanee, GA and his son Scott Black of Boyton Beach, FL are both gravely concerned for his health and well-being.

    His family, his colleagues, and his students around the world attest that:

    1. Alan has spent his life in the service of others.
    2. He has always demonstrated the highest respect and appreciation for the diverse cultures of the world, and the laws of nations.
    3. If there was any transgression we believe that it was unintentional.

    It is hoped by his family and the creativity community that the US Embassy in the U.A.E. will make every possible effort to insure his health and safety, and will work to secure his release at the earliest possible date. If you wish to communicate to your US Government elected official about Dr. Black it is encouraged that you either call them directly, or write a letter. Email is the least effective way to get attention.

    Comments

    Guide to Creativity & Innovation Conf. Part II

    As I suspected would happen a lot of additional information has come in regarding creativity conferences. Here are a few more, with very little data, but to add to the list: The Australian entry: The Amplify Festival – Sydney, Australia, June 6 – 10 Looks interesting!  Follow them on Twitter at @AMPlifyFest — Can we give this conference the award for actually having a creative name?  Would somebody hire me in Australia so I can go? The Idea Festival, Louisville, Kentucky, September 21 – 24, 2011 I’ve heard good things about The Idea Festival, my friend Doug Stevenson has been and he reports an interesting mix of content, and, a real sense of fun. This would appear to be more

    Read More..
    Comments

    Heston's Innovation Case Study with B.A.

    While trying to escape the business world for a few hours last evening (aka “male channel surfing”) I happened upon a Heston Blumenthal TV program on Channel 4. Kudos to Channel 4 for producing Heston’s Mission Impossible. It’s a must watch for those interested in innovation. Period. The program is all about Heston’s efforts to dramatically improve the food on British Airways.  Wow, a good start, it’s an iconic brand, and a brand in trouble. The program concept is not new; Blumental made a similar effort to update the menu at Great Britian’s classic diner, Little Chef. What is new, and very worth watching if you are an innovation person, hell, a business person, is the clarity of the program

    Read More..
    Comments

    Creativity Cruise, Innovative Fun, Deep Learning

    If you are interested in Creativity, but have avoided creativity conferences, I have an idea for you — go on the first ever Creativity Cruise. Most creativity conferences are held at hotels, and in a way, this is where the problems start. I’ve already said too much in my blog about the why’s and why not’s of Creativity Conferences, but one I didn’t mention in the Not column is the plastic, antiseptic, and expensive aspect of hotel locations. With the exception of Toronto’s MindCamp, nearly all the conferences are hotel-based. Eileen Doyle and Bruce Baum – two noted creativity practitioners — have decided to change all that, with the Creativity Cruise. Before I go into the details I’ll simply say

    Read More..
    Comments

    Creative Barcelona, Eyes Up, Hands Down

    Just returned from a long weekend in Barcelona. To say that I was blown away by the audacious innovation exhibited there would be an understatement. Specifically, I’m referring to the Gaudi architecture, although the whole city is bursting with beauty. Of course I’d heard of Gaudi before the trip and seen pictures in books and such, but seeing the real thing was an eye opener. His unfinished masterpiece the Sacrada Familia church is breathtaking. Impressive also is the vision of the city to continue building something that won’t be finished until 2030. Travel is one of those not-so-secret keys to enhanced creativity isn’t it? You learn to see with new eyes as a result. Gaudi’s work is deeply inspirational and

    Read More..
    Comments