Conference At UNB Explores The Value Of Creativity

Nora Young, Canadian broadcaster and host of CBC’s Spark, believes everyone can be creative. Ms. Young is one of three keynote speakers scheduled to talk at the Creative Connections Conference at the University of New Brunswick this Thursday, Nov. 16 to Saturday, Nov. 18. She will deliver her talk Friday, Nov. 17 at noon.

The conference is being held at the Wu Conference Centre in partnership with the Atlantic Centre for Creativity and UNB. It will offer problem-solving workshops and illuminating talks to students, leaders and professionals alike in fields varying from education, business, engineering, entrepreneurship and the arts. Participants will be encouraged to share their ideas and research on creativity and innovation.

Mary Blatherwick, co-chair of the Atlantic Centre for Creativity and the conference organizer, believes that creativity is one of the most important factors for success in any discipline. She says participants will learn how to access and use their creative abilities to express their ideas and find innovative solutions to real-world problems.

“This conference is all about the incredible value that creativity can bring to people’s personal and professional lives,” Dr. Blatherwick says. “Everyone has the capacity to be creative.”

The conference offers more than 50 interactive workshops and presentations and a creative showcase of artists and performers from around New Brunswick.

Ms. Young will deliver a keynote address at about the importance of creativity in our rapidly changing world. She will discuss how harnessing our creativity can help us face today’s challenges by drawing on her years of experience interviewing and researching creative people.

“Creativity and innovation are hot buzzwords these days,” she says, “but too often, ‘creativity’ is reduced to a kind of secret sauce that you either have or you don’t. In reality, we can learn creative practices that can help us innovate in challenging times as individuals, organizations and communities.

“This conference offers the opportunity to delve deeply into how creativity works, and why it’s important,” says Ms. Young.


Keynote Presenters


Susan Crichton

Presentation: Being Creative or Becoming Creative? Musings on Ways in Which Design Thinking Nurtures Imagination and Creativity

All too often we assume people are creative or not creative, but might we consider ways in which we could encourage creativity through intentional processes such as design thinking? This presentation shares experiences where design thinking was used to foster imagination, creative thinking, and change, especially in relation to the maker movement.

Susan Crichton is the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus and the founding director of the Innovative Learning Centre. Her teaching focuses on Trades and Technology, new media, the Maker Movement, and appropriate technologies.

Her research explores the thoughtful design and development of learning environments to enable quality teaching and learning, especially those in challenging contexts. She has been invited to work in Bhutan, Chile, China, Papua New Guinea, Ghana, Uganda, and Tanzania, principally in the area design thinking, appropriate technologies, and Making.

Nora Young

Why do you know the name Thomas Edison, and not the name Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville? After all, de Martinville invented sound recording 20 years before Edison. Yet it’s Edison who brought the phonograph to market. Creativity is often thought of as a mysterious gift that either you have or you don’t. But creative people know how to harness practices that support and develop their creativity. Drawing on her experience interviewing and researching creative people, Nora Young explains how creative people work, and how smart communities can make creative ideas reality before the next Edison does.

Canadian Broadcaster, and writer; the host of Spark on CBC Radio One.

Marjan Eggermont 

Marjan Eggermont is the former Associate Dean (Student Affairs) and a Senior Instructor and faculty member at the University of Calgary in the Mechanical and Manufacturing department of the Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary, Canada. She teaches graphical communication in the first Engineering Design and Communication course taught to all 800+ incoming engineering students. She also teaches Technology and Society to 3rd and 4th-year students, and a graduate course entitled Biomimetics for Engineers.Marjan teaches visualization, drawing, design history, biomimicry, and green engineering topics.

She is interested in biomimicry as a teaching tool because it allows for a great deal of creativity and “bridging” of subjects: science, engineering, design, art, biology, chemistry, etc. She is a Biomimicry Institute Fellow and was a member of their Biomimicry Educational Advisory Board. With co-editors Tom McKeag (San Francisco) and Norbert Hoeller (Toronto), she co-founded designs and publishes ZQ, an online journal to provide a platform to showcase the nexus of science and design using case studies, news, and articles ( ZQ has been nominated four times for the international Digital Magazine Award in the Science and Nature Magazine of the Year category.

In addition to a background in Fine Arts and Military History, she is a PhD Candidate in Computational Media Design specializing in bio-inspired infovis. As an artist, Marjan’s innovative work has gained her recognition exhibiting nationally and internationally. In 2003, she was named as one of the 20 most influential artists in Calgary by the Calgary Artwalk Society and was one of 45 international artists featured in “Printmaking at the Edge” by Richard Noyce (2006). She recently completed a large installation piece for the new EEEL Building (Energy, Environmental, Experiential Learning Building) at the University of Calgary which is jointly financed by the U of C Alumni Association, the Students Union and the graduating class of 2010 as the first ever legacy gift to the campus.

Marjan is interested in materials and transformative processes. This has led her to investigate non-traditional materials including steel, copper, concrete, acrylic, and ceramics. As an instructor, she was one of the recipients of The Allan Blizzard Award, a Canadian national teaching award for collaborative projects that improve student learning in 2004. In 2005, she was one of the recipients of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Curriculum Innovation Award. She recently finished a three-year term as a board member of ASEE – the American Society of Engineering Education.

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