September 21, 2006

Information isn't enough - De Bono at SETT

Here are my virtual scribblings from Edward de Bono's keynote at SETT.

We haven’t changed our thinking in 2300 years, since  Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. The latter believed that the male of the species had more teeth than the female, despite never having had checked the mouths of his two wives. He knew men had more beause stallions had more than teeth and female horses. Knowledge is great, isn’t it?

As Dave Weinberger was suggesting yesterday we are desperate to classify information in containers, and since Aristotle’s proclamation on teeth we have not changed our thinking that x = y.

It all comes down to judgement, sure, but we also need design. The rear back wheel of a car might be perfect and one might judge that this  is all that is necessary to drive safely, but our judgement means  nothing unless design

China, 2000 years ago, was the dominant power. The Scholars believed that certainty (truth) led to certainty which led to certainty, and so the idea of possibility never entered their heads.

Nowadays, people believe that one takes all the information onto the computer, analyse it andcome up with the ‘answer’, the action. But information on its own is not enough, creativity is required to make something of it.


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Sounds like you have read some De Bono. I read a couple of his books and its damn good. I believe he is right about creativity being severely underused in comparison to critical (logical) and creativity will optimize our chances in coming up with good, original ideas. Logical thinking can help us with that, but that original idea is not always logical and obivious in hindsight, hence, we need creativity to complement our critical thinking skills to come up with that original idea.

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Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

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School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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