TED Conversations

Karina Eisner


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Creativity in Action

We can overcome geographical, language, age and political barriers. We can make a difference. Let's take the next step.

This is Stage 2 of the debate on Creativity and Education, do it!

What: Now that we have brainstormed so many possibilities, let's choose a few real world problems from our own group of TEDsters, and begin to tackle them, one at a time.

How: Connecting, cooperating, organizing information, sharing our skills, giving ideas, encouraging, writing or blogging, creating a webpage, reaching out to our own communities.

For example, we could:
...set up of a more permanent online network that remains connected and researches solutions, organizations, resources to make a difference in local communities, like Cairo,
... create an even wider survey of ideas utilizing our current online social networks,
... organize a non-profit of any scale to address improvement,
... start up a collaborative project where we pool our different skills and make an online zine to create awareness and broadcast creativity in different forms (new inventions in all areas, articles, school innovations, video clips, robotics, green solutions, etc.)
… [your idea here]


Closing Statement from Karina Eisner

The TEDsters here have lived and worked around the globe, and are already in education, creating and causing change in very different ways, in different communities. I am thankful to each of them for sharing how they make a difference on daily basis. Your input, weather in words, resources, articles, or music, has been inspiring, motivational and uplifting. I am looking forward to more updates and collaboration, continue to inspire the world!

JAIME lives creatively, and changes communities through his university work (Mexico and Italy), the "Taller del Asombro" (Asombratorium), and his civic involvement. He does seminars and design courses for designers, arts and crafts workshops for kids, ecological design field courses, exhibitions (art, toys and design), traditional Mexican cooking, book design and print, etc. To take a closer look at his creative explorations, go to his website: http://tallerdelasombro.com/Main.html

AMIRA is a Harvard graduate in Cairo, with a deep desire for positive change in this time of crisis. She teaches at the American University, and also works with private schools and multinational organizations. Her vision is to utilize her training and experience incorporating technology and social networks to advance education and bring people, faiths and nations closer together.

PETER is a global renaissance man -a social innovator with an interest in anything and everything, particularly education. He impacts his community as TEDx organizer, educational consultant to schools and colleges, overall idea generator, and effective communicator. As we could see in both debates, he is a also an impressive researcher.

Thanks to all! You moved me to take action into my hands, actively participate in this network and others, research and study new disciplines, effect change at work, collaborate with the local college strategic planning committee, join others in social impact projects, reset personal & professional goals, and redefine open-mindedness.

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  • Oct 30 2011: The input on the previous debate was tremendous and exciting that is why I'm surprised that there is no activity on this debate here. Have we given all we have and are now waiting for others to lead, or do we feel creative in cycles? or are we just gathering steam? It would be interesting to hear from all of you.
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      Oct 30 2011: Hi, Amira.
      I haven't been here as often, as I had a few more things to deal with outside of TED :-)
      But I can tell you that no, I haven't put this in the back burner.
      As for the rest, they heard the call, but I think we need to come up with a platform, a plan (however schematic) of the next step. Otherwise, this is too gray a territory, not clear how the "action" is going to happen.

      I can tell you that I met with our local TEDx group just yesterday. We discussed, among other things, this creativity debate, and my vision to turn all this talk into action, a real project, and make a difference. The idea took flight, people were very interested and got carried away, I am afraid, taking most of our meeting time.
      The seed has been planted there.
      This TED group meets randomly, so is not able to make progress on this as fast as the TED.com debate, but there is great potential for collaboration. We discussed several local cases of successful interactions with the existing educational system, as well as some disaster stories. I believe there is definitely a desire to extend locally. The global aspect (what we covered for the most part online here) may need a separate place, a virtual niche that keeps us in touch more often (although virtually) to be able to shape this idea.

      Have you given any more thoughts to this? Do you have a way to share this project with a similar group there? Do you think there could be a local think-tank there too? The more the merrier...

      And how do see this project materializing from your stand point?
      In the case of Cairo's situation, for example, what kind of support or intervention do you see is needed? At what level is it more urgent? Is the current system the same you had before January? And to what extent do you think the current government will allow any creative steps within education?

      Keep us posted :-)
      • Nov 1 2011: Karina, let me share with you what I have been thinking/wishing for. I currently teach a unique course. My learners are religious scholars (Muslim) and the goal is to teach them English for religious purposes while exposing them to the "West" and showing them the dynamics of a range of factors that have led to many distructive and toxic growing phenomena such as "Islamophobia". I wish to create a digital magazine or publication which would have a forum to cross-culturally discuss pivotal ideas and bring people, faiths and nations closer together. I am looking for a creative structure/format/platform to do this. My learners are amazingly well educated, open-minded and willing to engage in this, I'm trying to give them the language functions needed as well as the cultural background which underlies this current tricky situation we all find ourselves in. So, as you see, I have a lot to gain from keeping "Creativity in Action" realistic, practical and current
        .Peter, thanks for the link, I will look into it right now.

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