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Creative populism

What’s your favorite creativity lesson that you learned from nature?

The natural forces of healthy and sustainable growth are on display all around us—in forests and fields, in barnyards and backyards. I am just starting a second book on creativity titled Becoming a Creative Genius (naturally).  It follows my first, Becoming a Creative Genius (again), overlapping the first and extending it as good creative growth is wont to do. The book will present generative concepts and creative and entrepreneurial strategies that I first discovered while observing and participating in natural forces of growth and basic human nature shaped by those forces; the concepts and strategies were then refined as I applied them over a series of start-ups and other creative work; and they weren’t fully understood until I shared these...

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Political entrepreneurship? The next chapter in our story of greatness?

We live in extraordinary times. -We have the knowledge and the technology and resources to become the first nation that achieves a sustainable abundance for all our citizens even as we are buffeted by waves of crisis-like challenges. -But what makes these times even more remarkable is that the large majority of the American public is eager for radical change as evidenced by the number of passionate supporters of President Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders. -What these two men have in common is important: They are seen by their supporters as truth tellers who don’t rely on conventional political language or behavior. It is extremely rare for such a large majority of folks to be eager for new approaches to systemic problems. To...

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Does common wealth generate our nation’s health?

Sorry for the cheap rhyme, my poet daughter just flinched…but it’s too true so I had to use it and it does what a good title can by helping orient you to what I am up to. I don’t mean commonwealth, a label used historically to designate a specific political entity and its assets. At our independence most of the founding 13 colonies chose to call themselves states. Three declared they were commonwealths—Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts; later when Kentucky split off from Virginia it retained its sense of self as a commonwealth—but historians and political scientists will tell you that today in the US there isn’t any difference of note between a state and a commonwealth. And once upon a time there...

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Free Creativity Workshop on May 5th in Durham

Did you know that 98% of us are born with a creative genius? And that the World Economic Forum recently determined creativity will drive our future successes? I am hosting a fun and action-packed workshop on May 4th from 6:30 to 7:30 pm at the Southern Regional branch of the Durham Public Library. This workshop will help you grow your creative capacity and develop your entrepreneurial instincts; you’ll develop skills that will serve you in all aspects of your life...

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Creative value found in Humility

Relying on 30+ years of experiences as an entrepreneur followed by 14 years designing courses in creativity and entrepreneurship for Duke Students, I’ve identified 4 Generative Behaviors that serve our creative and entrepreneurial growth and performance most effectively. When you practice these four behaviors intentionally as you navigate your daily life they will help you steadily grow your creative capacity and develop your entrepreneurial instincts. And when you are focused on a creative or entrepreneurial project, applying these behaviors will improve your outcomes. Folks easily embrace Being Generous as Being Generative as one of the behaviors even before they learn that generous and generative come from the same Latin word generos, to produce. They have fun with Being Playful—it makes intuitive...

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Creative Populism as a political philosophy?

Our country is in trouble; the problems we face are so large we can’t even be honest with ourselves about just how big so many of them are. The only way—the only way—we can take on these problems and build our best futures is if we work together. The problem is, we pretty much hate each other and that’s a situation that, if allowed to play out, will only get worse—there are cameras everywhere and social media prevails and so I will be sent all the worst images of what I dislike the most on a regular basis. If it has always been hard to change one’s mind about an important belief, it is nigh onto impossible now. So we need to find...

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Advocacy for Participation Trophies

  It was the loving parents of Millennial babies who suction cupped ‘Baby on Board’ caution to car windows and manifested that same love when later they decided that all team members in youth sports deserved a trophy for participating. Or, as so many members of us older generations like to put it, “Those kids even received trophies for just participating.” As obvious as it is to us all that Millennials didn’t ask for the extra attention in the first instance is how obvious it is to me that they didn’t ask for the trophies either. I coached two girls soccer teams each year for seven years, following my daughter from six to thirteen, and three girls basketball teams, and never once did...

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Millennials and their Destiny

I have a deep and rich relationship with the Millennial Generation and I’m the better for it. After 25 years as an entrepreneur I began teaching at Duke University in 2001, just as the oldest of the Millennial Generation were becoming juniors and seniors. I taught there until last year, courses I designed to help Millennial students grow their creative capacities and develop their entrepreneurial instincts. To be successful in these classes we needed to operate at a very personal level, exploring ambitions and fears and exercising young creative and entrepreneurial muscles while they trusted me enough to share their best creative expressions. I engaged in that exploration and guided the creative practice and shared that trust with over 3,000 Millennials. I...

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Take a walk to Creativity

Don’t you feel good when academic research validates something you’ve always known to be true because your gut told you so? It happened to me again when a couple of years ago researchers out of Stanford determined what a highly effective boost it is to your creative capacity and to your entrepreneurial mindset to simply take a walk. I’ve walked in the woods with my dogs almost every day and the more actively engaged in a creative challenge I happen to be the more likely I am hiking for a couple of miles, on a path to get started, off the path when that feels right, wondering while wandering and then sitting under a tree to write down what I have been...

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