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Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

How Would You Heighten The Experience of a Blooming Corpse Flower? (UPDATE!)

Posted by Plish on August 26, 2015

I share this little tidbit because it’s a rare event that will be unfolding before your eyes in the next couple of days at the Chicago Botanic Garden.  And when it unfolds, it’ll be a sight to behold and a stench to remember!

The Titan Arum, or Corpse Flower, a rare Sumatran plant, will be blooming in what could be less than 24 hours.

I’ve made a couple of visits already and am excitedly waiting for it to unfurl.

This event has gotten me thinking about how else might an event like this be remembered?  We can always take pictures, but they won’t do justice to the whole experience of the flower.  What else could be done to create more buzz and more memories around an event like this? How else might you educate?

I think scratch and sniff cards would be a cool souvenir 😉   What would you do?

Here’s the  live feed archive of the livefeed so you can see it in real time!

UPDATED!

Click HERE to see a great summary page that the Garden put together, as well as this page that has some cool pics.

I was able to check Spike out the day before they moved it out of the limelight.  It’s a pretty amazing plant!

 

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Posted in creativity, Design, Education, Experience, innovation, nature | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Designing and Curating Perceptions of Vodou (Part Deux)

Posted by Plish on November 8, 2014

At the end of my last post on the Vodou Exhibition at Chicago’s Field Museum, (you might want to click the link and give it a read if you want to come up to speed,) I mentioned that I’d visit the exhibition again  and see if my thoughts changed.

I did.

They didn’t.

Friday night was an event in which Chicago’s Haitian community welcomed the new exhibit with delicious verve (See Figure 1 below).  It was a great opportunity to speak with artists and others about the exhibit, to get their opinions.

Many of theirs were similar to mine.

However, I did do something different this time. I spent more time looking up at the banners, and I spent more time on the artifacts that didn’t appear to be from secret societies.  (I didn’t just look, I studied, read, worked at really trying to understand.) In the end, this lightened the experience considerably, but did it dispel the overall dark vibe of the exhibit?

No.

What will help?

My suggestions for event would be the following.

  1. Change the banners that are used for publicity.  They contain Secret Society Lwa.  Do something lighter.
  2. Tell a story with the exhibition.  Start with the misconceptions you want to dispel, the points you want to get across. Then start dispelling and telling the story of Haiti and Vodou. Explain the day to day in Haiti and where Vodou fits.  Show how it interacts with other religions – perhaps even how families often practice Catholicism and Vodou simultaneously.
  3. Build an elevated area that is behind a red curtain (or make the curtain look like a forest covered mountainside. )  Entitle that section: “Inside Vodou’s Secret Societies”.  Maybe put a small disclaimer at the beginning saying small children might be disturbed by what’s inside.  Put those Secret Society artifacts (an example of which is in Figure 2 below), behind the curtain and out of the main stream of the exhibit.  Make sure it’s not somewhere in the middle of the exhibit.  The Secret Societies are not mainstream and mixing these artifacts in with the everyday artifacts mischaracterizes what many people experience in everday Vodou.  However, Secret Societies need to be referenced in the everyday exhibits- after all, they did indeed impact Haitian life. I also believe that ‘hiding’ the Secret Society artifacts will do another thing: people will slow down.  When people are in fearful situations, they tend to move more quickly. If you want people to move slowly and observe – hide the dark stuff.
  4. Children are noticeably absent from many of the videos and explanations.  Of the Haitians I spoke with, all of them had non-intimidating memories of Vodou as a child.  They remember the brightness, the music, the activity on Holidays.  If a child can feel it, adults will too.
  5. Move explanations closer to artifacts and make them readable without having to bend neck or body.  Bring banners closer to eye level.  Create exhibits that allow the most visitors to stand straight and tall.  Haitians wanted this (and still do!) and Vodou helped them.
  6. Include more ways for people to interact and touch.  Granted, the artifacts at the exhibition are were used in Vodou and as such, are not open to touching.  But, there are other ways to help people to hear, taste, feel, smell, touch.  Drumming is key to Vodou.  Let people make virtual drums (or real ones!) Get innovative!
  7. Provide more of the beauty of Haiti! More green, more color, breezes, salt water aroma, music, you get the idea.  Vodou is about the interconnectedness of all things, life, death, sky, earth, plants, water, etc.  Set more of the context, not just socio-politically (which incidentally, this exhibition did a better job of doing.)
  8. End the exhibition showing how Haiti is growing (albeit slowly and painfully at times) and what challenges lie ahead.  Reiterate how Vodou has been a misunderstood part of the process, that Vodou comes from the heart of the Haitian culture and it’s been responsible for establishing a spirit of  (and physical!) freedom in a nation.  Show bright artwork that comes from Haitian artists, even those works from those mounted by spirits.

With the above changes, I believe the exhibit would better accomplish its goal of dispelling misconceptions of Vodou.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and what you’d do!

Consul General of Haiti, Lesly Conde

Figure 1. Consul General of Haiti, Lesly Conde

Secret Society Lwa

Figure 2. Secret Society Lwa

Yes, I even spent more time looking at the mirrots

Figure 3  Yes, I even spent more time looking at the mirrors.  This was one of the more mellow looking mirrors

Posted in Arts, Authenticity, Conveying Information, creativity, curation, Design, Education, Experience, Information Visualization, Politics, prayer, Religion, Spirituality, The Human Person | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Talking Hearts and Other Parts

Posted by Plish on February 4, 2014

Every once in a while someone takes a technology and uses it in a slightly different way than usual.  A friend of mine who I used to work with way back when, shared just such a twist to a technology using the Livescribe Echo Smartpen.

Dr. Mike is an Instructor and Director of the Multi-Function Lab at Loyola Medical Center, and he always looks for ways to use technology in ways that make education more effective and accessible.  In this case, he was looking for a way to make education about the human body less dependent upon instructors and yet, more robust – embalming fluids and med students make for a quite a volatile mix.  In particular, he was looking for a way to label anatomical models and parts of cadavers.

A while back there was talk of QR codes or other techs,  but eventually he went the route of using a Livescribe pen and markers.  Here’s a little video he put together showing how the technology works.  I love what he did thinking outside ‘the box.’ But then, thinking in novel ways was never a weak point of Dr. Dauzvardis.

 

What do you think of this concept?

Posted in Case Studies, creativity, Design, Education, innovation, problem solving | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Directions in Innovation and Design – Insights from IIT’s Design Strategy Conference

Posted by Plish on May 18, 2013

I was at the IIT Institute of Design’s Design Strategy Conference this week.

This is, no doubt, one of the best, little known, innovation and design conferences.  Every year I get to meet people, learn, think, dream and be empowered to do and be more.

Thoughts*…

Carl Bass gave wonderful insights into software for crafting, and some interesting business challenges that the proliferation of apps has created. ( Hint- He gets more letters from people complaining about a $3 app than a $5000 software package)

Kim Erwin emphasized that innovation is about more than making things reality.  Her book, Communicating the New, promises to provide vital insights into an often neglected and yet vital aspect of the innovation process: Communication.

Mark Tebbe provided insights into how tech will impact business.  Ultra-personal, social, local, mobile, sensors, wearable, 3D printing, brain extending, photo and video capturing, nano-generators, flexible displays, voice control, robotics, virtual education…an empowering and amazing world is being co-created as you read this…

Stepan Pachikov – the founder of Evernote.  Time machines, virtual and real. It’ll happen. He said so.

Amory Lovins, of the Rocky Mountain Institute shared a feasible way of creating a new energy era without impacting the economy in a negative way. It’s possible…

Laura Hartman and Connie Duckworth emphasized that humans living in poverty or challenging conditions, are indeed, capable market partners. ‘For Profit’ and ‘Not for Profit’ companies can work together and do amazing things to educate children and adults and build economies to the benefit of all.  The key messages? Walk in other’s shoes. Think like an insider and outsider. Play to strengths. Create impact then scale and  larger scale will create additional impact.

CC= Catherine Casserly=Creative Commons. #tryopen  Dream of what we can do together. Share.

Brian Love (and a team of students) and sharing the craft of crops.  Yes, growing and developing crops is a craft. What was especially powerful were the tools that enabled communication and mutual education.  Check out betterat/ – a platform for mentoring and personal growth.

A wonderful reflective talk by Vijay Kumar. His new book, 101 Design Methods, is a must have in any innovation library.

Confused and depressed by too many choices?  Barry Schwartz shed light on the Paradox of Choice (great vid-check it out!).  More choices is not necessarily a good thing.

Then there’s the story of Detroit, Gary Wozniak, and the vision driven people who are innovatively re-designing the once bustling, dynamic locus of the automotive industry; converting empty space to food and providing employment for those that aren’t easily employable.  I encourage you to read the story of Recovery Park.  Support it if your heart leads you to.

Creating harmony between the urban and the rural.  Professor Lou Yongqi shared an ongoing evolving experiment, that is doing exactly that – and doing it in an economically beneficial and sustainable way. I especially loved the metaphor of acupuncture in this project: one stimulated point can create harmony in the system…

And finally, I leave you with a slide from Bruce Nussbaum’s presentation – a summary of what it means to move from Design to Creativity.  Some wonderful perspectives to ponder…

Click to see full size

Click to see full size

I hope to see you there next year!

* – Apologies to any missed presenters/presentations

Posted in Arts, Authenticity, Books, Co-Creation, Conveying Information, creativity, culture of innovation, Design, design thinking, Education, Entrepreneurship 2.0, Experience, Human Rights, innovation, Nature of Creativity, problem solving, Social Innovation, Social Networking, Social Responsibility, Stories, Sustainability, The Future | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Be Part of an Amazing Worldwide Event – The Shaping the Future Global Conference

Posted by Plish on October 20, 2012

I wanted to share this amazing event that I’m going to be presenting at: The Shaping the Future Global Conference.   (I’m presenting separately and/or pulling together a panel discussion on “Innovating Educational Paradigms in the 21st Century”)  I’m attaching the latest communique on the event. If you’d like to participate, give a talk, create music for this event, feel free to check the info below or drop me a line.  Suggestions for topics are welcome!

People like Patch Adams, Deepak Chopra, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu are scheduled to give presentations.  This is not to be missed!

*******

4 Days 6 Continents 100 Nations

Multiple Time Zones

 1 Agenda: A world that works for all of us.

Dec 1,2,8,9

 

Peace Harmony Human Rights Health Education Quality of Life Environmental Sustainability Spiritual Fulfillment

 

“At a time of global deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” (George Orwell)

 

Shaping the Future Global

The World is watching

www.shapingthefutureglobal.com

Shaping the Future Global

A Division of the Global Peace Centre

Melbourne, Australia

4 Days. 6 Continents. 100 Nations. 1 Agenda:

 October 18, 2012

 

Friends,

We’ve put out the word and the people have responded!

Great minds from six continents including  scientists, teachers, educators, city officials, students, artists, performing artists, social scientists, entrepreneurs of the future and people all around the world who wish to unite to create a world that works for all of us, in harmony and in justice for ALL.  We have secured amazing people such as yourself from organizations and associations from places such as Russia, Israel, Palestine, Nairobi, Cameroon, South Africa, Nepal, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Switzerland, Germany and the United States.  Naturally with a Presidential Election taking place in the States in a few weeks, we feel that once the elections are over we will pick up steam and Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Education, Human Rights, imagination, innovation, Social Innovation, Spirituality, Sustainability, The Future, The Human Person, Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Check Out This Summit Celebrating Creativity and Commerce in Milwaukee (and Other Resources!)

Posted by Plish on August 31, 2012

I live about halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee. Chicago usually gets all the top billing with regards to innovation.  I’ll admit it,  I love Milwaukee but I’m guilty of perpetuating that perception.

That changes today.

I came across this article over at BizTimes.com.  Creative Alliance Milwaukee is hosting a one day summit, bringing together creative people of all types, with the following goal:

Through a series of panels, breakout speeches, a trade show, a showcase of Milwaukee’s creative initiatives, live music, onsite artists and an exclusive Creative Salon session, the summit will illustrate how creativity is alive and well in Milwaukee.

I got excited just reading the press release.

Then, when digging into the Creative Alliance Website I came across an amazing resource: A report that highlights over 20 coworking/maker spaces in the Milwaukee area.  That’s 20!  Whether you’re talking innovation from the perspective of a tech business startup or from the perspective of an artist, there’s a collaborative space for you.  Check out the pdf report here.

This is an exciting movement and something that needs to be supported – not just by artists, but by the business community.  Creativity is a powerful asset and the contributions, and support, of creative people can only stimulate innovation and build the economy.

Check out the above websites and let me know what you think.  If you’re in the area, I’ll see you in Milwaukee on Sept. 21 for the Summit.

It’ll be well worth it!

Posted in creativity, Design, Education, innovation, Musical Creativity, Social Innovation, Start-Ups | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Great New Tool for Collaboration (and More!) – Use a ‘Big Marker’

Posted by Plish on July 19, 2012

What do GoTo Meeting, Dropbox, and Ning have in common?

Not much really.

So, if you want to web conference, share files and create a community presence on the web, you need to subscribe to all the above services and maybe more.

Enter Big Marker.

BigMarker.com is a one-stop shop – and the majority of features are free.  Those that aren’t are very reasonably priced. And, there’s nothing to download; it’s all web-based.

Seth Godin describes a tribe as, “a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader and connected to an idea;” it’s people with, “a shared interest and a way to communicate.”

Big Marker is essentially a tribe builder.

Public or private, project management or social widgets, educate or elucidate, Big Marker can help you innovate!

~Would love to hear your experiences using Big Marker~

Posted in Creative Thinking Techniques, culture of innovation, Disruptive Innovation, Education, innovation, Innovation Tools, Project Management, Start-Ups, Team-Building, Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Making Innovation and Design Consciousness Ubiquitous – Lessons from Open Mics

Posted by Plish on February 26, 2011

I used to be a fan of the Pecha-Kucha presentation format. Stripped down, only the essentials, no wasted time.  This is what a presentation should be. 

But then, like this person and this person, I became frustrated by it.  Frustrated because if I wanted to run a Pecha Kucha night, I had to get permission from the ‘founders’ of Pecha Kucha.  The reason for getting permission is because, as the website says:

We have a very simple Handshake agreement with each city basically to ensure there is only one event series per city and people are not treading in one another toes or pulling the rug out from under there[sic] feet. PechaKucha Nights take quite a bit of organizing and the more networks the better so we think it is better for cities to focus on one event.

Hmmm.

As a practicing musician I often go to open mics to try out new tunes and refine them prior to using them in shows.  For those that don’t know, open mics are held weekly, or at least monthly, at various venues such as bars, restaurants, churches, cafes, etc..  Some of these are very spartan in format, others are quite elaborate with backup bands, but they all have food, drink, friends and fun.  They often last for 2 to 4 hours, some even longer.  Many open mics develop followings and have regular attendees.  They are events!

According to the PechaKucha website there are over 230 cities holding monthly PechaKuchas. According to openmikes.org,   there are at least 137 open mics in and within 25 miles of Chicago each week!  That’s 548 per month, not counting those establishments that have monthly, as opposed to weekly, open mics. 

 There are twice as many open mics in one city in a month than there are PechaKucha events worldwide!

That is sustainability.  That is empowerment.  That is a whole lot of sharing, of interaction, of friends and fun! 

What are the rules for performers at open mics?  Usually it’s something like 3 songs or ten minutes, whichever happens first.  PechaKucha, as a reminder, is 20 slides for 20 seconds each- six minutes and forty seconds max.

According to their website:

Pecha Kucha was devised  by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham and their office Klein Dytham architecture has supported the movement and global network for the past 7 years covering all cost for staff and web development. To keep the project sustainable and viable going forward as the network expands we are setting up a foundation. The foundation will also support creative projects such as the Mark Hoekstra PechaKucha Night Award.

As a reminder, there is no central office for Open Mics, no foundation, no licensing the format for events.  Just a simple rule: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Authenticity, Conveying Information, creativity, culture of innovation, Design, Education, Experience, imagination, Information Visualization, innovation, Social Innovation, Social Networking, Society | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Free, New Tool for Online Meetings/Collaboration – Try Zipcast!

Posted by Plish on February 18, 2011

Slideshare has just launched a really slick, new service called Zipcast.  It’s an online meeting tool.  It’s free and it’s simple.  Simply set up a free account through Slideshare and you get a free meeting room.  Call a meeting and broadcast it on Twitter or Facebook, or keep it private and only invitees can participate.  The fact that it’s spontaneous and doesn’t require any planning is great for initiating discussions on the fly.  Zipcast does require that your meeting centers around a Slideshare ‘presentation’ (yours or someone else’s) that is already uploaded but this isn’t really negative – after all, most meetings are centered around documents anyway, right? 

Features of Zipcast are:

Free

  • Use any presentation: yours or someone else’s
  • Personalized meeting rooms
  • Streaming live video
  • Group chat
  • No downloads
  • Unlimited meetings & participants
  • Facebook & Twitter integration
  • Private or Public

Pro

  • Password protection
  • No ads
  • Conference call number

What does Zipcast claim it can be used for?

  1. Share ideas with remote colleagues.
  2. Launch your next product
  3. Talk at a conference remotely
  4. Teach anyone, anywhere
  5. Pitch a client
  6. Walk people over your sales deck
  7. Support your customers
  8. Run a non-profit fundraiser
  9. Share your photo albums
  10. Have fun sharing presentations

Personally I can see this being used as a great way to teach people, to give webinars for free, or to work on social innovation projects.  People could contribute to a discussion, a new presentation could be made based upon the feedback, another meeting held, and so on.  I could see this becoming a platform for online Pecha Kucha, which I would really dig.  Think about it.  You could tune in to a Pecha Kucha presentation 24-7 and not have to sit through hour long presentations.

This will obviously morph and be taken in new directions as it gets used.  I can already see an artist uploading lyrics/poetry to their Slideshare page and giving a concert/reading for anyone and everyone that will listen.

This seriously has some coolness going for it.

Would love to hear your thoughts!

Posted in Conveying Information, Crowdsourcing, culture of innovation, Customer Focus, Design, Education, Information Visualization, innovation, Social Innovation, Social Networking, Social Responsibility, Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Brilliant Insights Into Creativity, Experience and Human Nature From Joe Howard

Posted by Plish on November 18, 2010

I came across this article/video over at the Jerusalem Post -it’s a short interview with Joe Howard, an archaeologist turned advertiser.  Amazing insights into creativity and creating engaging experiences.  So, I followed the links and came across a three part keynote address.  I’ve put all three parts here for your convenience.  Each piece is about 9 minutes long and contains observations into human nature, creativity, idea generation and more.   Do yourself a favor and watch.  It’ll be time well spent, and you’ll probably find yourself at least a little inspired as well.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Posted in Authenticity, cognitive studies, Creative Environments, Creative Thinking Techniques, creativity, Creativity Videos, culture of innovation, Customer Focus, Education, idea generation, imagination, innovation, Interviews, Nature of Creativity, problem solving, The Human Person, Workplace Creativity | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

 
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