Mycelium, the game that won the 2017 Oxford Humanities Innovation Challenge, is one of many tools we use to help organisations and individuals be more creative.

It’s our belief that many people who teach creativity don’t do it in the most helpful way, and we think that is partly down to organisations’ lack of clarity about what creativity is. So we want to explain very briefly what we do differently, and the 4 key areas of creativity where we can help you.

We see it this way. Suppose you were headed to the stars, and you only had room to take one tool with you on your mission. You wouldn’t take a spanner and hope that was the right one. You’d take a 3D printer, so that whatever problem you encountered, you could print the right tool.

Too many approach creativity like a spanner – as a way of helping you solve problems, or giving you new processes. We approach it as helping to change the way your brain works at a fundamental level, so you think differently, more fluidly, and can better find the right way for yourself to tackle whatever problems come your way.

We focus on:

How We Think About What We Know?

  • Most people think of their knowledge as the sum of what they know. We think of it as the product of what we know. Knowledge is not the total number of bits of information, but the possible connections between them. Think how much more powerful that is. We teach you how to organise information to take advantage of this.

What Information Is

  • A piece of information never occurs in a vacuum. It is the intersection of thousands of narratives, motivations, and intentions. In our work helping intelligence analysts to understand data better, we developed a technique called narrative analysis. In short, this enables you to situate, understand the significance of, and use information by understanding as many of the narratives that intersect at that point as possible.

How to Make Connections

  • Many people struggle to connect things because we tend to think about things concretely (when you think of a dog, you think of a particular dog). It is much easier to form connections when you think more abstractly. We teach you how to think about things in this way, for example by breaking concrete ideas down into their properties.

How to Do Things Differently

  • Most people are bad at doing things genuinely differently, and forming truly new connections. This is in large part because we have evolved to have a very sophisticated self-censoring system. We use gamification to help you overcome this, effectively giving you a dopamine hit for being ridiculous, and in the process making it easier for you to form more, and more original connections.

Oh, and please sign up to our occasional email-only newsletter by clicking this text. We will tell you about cool creative things, some of which will be ours (some of those might be for sale). We won’t sell your data or use it for anything other than this.

 

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