2019: Jump Down the Creative Rabbit Hole

What I have had the privilege of spending a large part of 2018 running creativity sessions with everyone from software designers in London to children visiting after hours exhibitions at Oxford’s museums. And the result is always the same. I see people get excited. If I have a wish for 2019, it’s simply for more … Continue reading 2019: Jump Down the Creative Rabbit Hole

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The Search for My Pale Blue Dot

Starting up Without Breaking Down - Part 3 (Come to the launch in Oxford - event details as per the photo here) I was a young child in the 1970s, and in 1980, when I was 8, my life, like many others was changed forever by a television programme, Cosmos. At the time I would … Continue reading The Search for My Pale Blue Dot

Mycelium: Winner of the Oxford University Humanities Innovation Challenge

Creativity is a key part of what I do here. I spend a lot of time thinking about what creativity is, about the conditions under which it flourishes, and about how to increase everyone’s capacity for creativity – both the things that I can do personally and directly by teaching, writing, and developing tools; and … Continue reading Mycelium: Winner of the Oxford University Humanities Innovation Challenge

Cosmology, Collidors, and Creatively Playing the Fool

I was delighted to be asked to talk about creativity at this year's Hawkesbury Upton Literary Festival with two of my heroes. Orna Ross's brilliance and kindness and inspiration have meant so much over the years to me personally as well as the wider literary world. Joanna Penn is a creative and motivational inspiration to … Continue reading Cosmology, Collidors, and Creatively Playing the Fool

Colliding, Sliding and Eliding: Lessons in Creativity 2

This section contains three very different sets of exercises for you to work on. As such, it may be worth spending longer on it than last time, or treating it as three separate sections. Though of course it’s entirely up to you. (click here for the first lesson) Last time we looked at some ways … Continue reading Colliding, Sliding and Eliding: Lessons in Creativity 2

Lessons in Creativity 1: Little Puffy Clouds

I’ve spent a lot of time here talking about the way creativity is, for want of a better term, about mashing things up and seeing what you get. But what I haven’t done yet is talk about how to develop the skill of the interesting collision. Skill, maybe, is the wrong word, because that takes … Continue reading Lessons in Creativity 1: Little Puffy Clouds

The Algorithmic Butterfly

Having snagged a signed copy at his talk earlier in the week, I have spent my commutes reading Tim Harford’s Messy. It has been what I can only call “disconcerting”. It has felt as though Tim has crawled inside my head, extracted each of my techniques, systems, and inner infrastructures, and assigned them to different … Continue reading The Algorithmic Butterfly

All the Broccoli Became James Corden: The Problem of Finding Creativity’s Goldilocks Zone

In Originals, his brilliant tour through the inner and outer worlds of the world’s most innovative thinkers, Adam Grant tells us that these stars in our firmament have one thing in common. They fail more than other people. In his 2013 speech to London Book Fair, Neil Gaiman acknowledged this same trait with his call … Continue reading All the Broccoli Became James Corden: The Problem of Finding Creativity’s Goldilocks Zone