It’s a month now since the Canterbury conference ended, but we are all still benefiting from the fresh perspectives it has brought to our understanding of creativity. With a huge range of topics featured in talks and posters, this was a truly interdisciplinary and international conference.
The conference started with the keynote speech of Todd Lubart, Professor of Psychology at the Université Paris Descartes. Professor Lubart’s research focuses on the development of creativity in children and adults, the creative process, emotion, and intercultural issues.
In this conference, Prof. Lubart spoke about “the 7C’s of creativity” – those seven ingredients of divergent thinking that we might all explore: Creators, Creating, Collaborations, Contexts, Creations, Consumption, and Curricula. This was an intriguing twist on the canonical sets of “Four Ps” of Rhodes and the “Five As” of Glaveanu.
I found his experiment about the “Context” particularly fascinating, in which he used virtual reality workspaces to analyze the effects of different environments on creativity.
Jonathan Plucker also spoke of creativity as a sum of factors, highlighting in particular the importance of bringing your creative work to the attention of others. One anecdote in particular struck me – that of Johanna Van Gogh-Bonger, sister-in-law of Vincent. After his death, she strongly believed that her brother-in-law’s paintings were underestimated, and pushed herself to show them everywhere, until they were eventually accepted for the masterpieces that they were. If it wasn’t for her, we would probably never have come to appreciate Vincent’s artworks!
Amory Danek‘s speech about insight had special relevance for my own studies – particularly in the relationship between the feeling of insight, higher accuracy of solution and higher confidence ratings. I’ve taken away several ideas from this for the future.
In between the many fascinating speeches (too many to mention individually!) was an “Academic speed networking” session, a sort of speed dating geared towards meeting as many new colleagues as possible, sharing each other’s experience and advice. I found this idea very useful and very entertaining at the same time! I think that every conference should do this, helping newcomers to break the impasse of meeting people who work in the same field. With 25 posters to browse as well, and a panel discussion chaired by Karl Jeffries, Todd Lubart, Jonathan Plucker, Janet McDonnell, and Linden Ball there was plenty of discussion and a sharing of ideas from across the community.
Altogether, I feel privileged to have attended this friendly, joyful celebration of creativity, and to have met so many of the ‘names’ I’ve seen in articles. Special thanks go to Ian Hocking at Canterbury Christchurch who managed so kindly to fit me in at the last minute; and to Kathryn Friedlander, Gillian Hill and Philip Fine, my hosts at the University of Buckingham, who accompanied me on this trip.
The UK Creativity 2018 conference took place on 22 May 2018 at Canterbury Christ Church University and was organized jointly by Canterbury Christ Church University, the University of Surrey and the University of Central Lancashire.
All photo credits to Ian Hocking/Britta Osthaus, Canterbury Christchurch.