Tag Archives: creativity

The Next Disruption For the Young Entrepreneur

Inspiration disrupts my daily existence, sometimes at the right time and sometimes at an inopportune time. I can’t plan it, but I always welcome it and try to leverage it.

Photo Credit: Tsahi Levent-Levi via Compfight cc

Disruption From the Outside

Not sure which this one is, but after attending the 99% Conference, I have yet again found disruption. I’ll quickly highlight this two-day extravaganza:

I had the pleasure of visiting the Quirky offices, heard their story, shared the internrocket story with the dude who founded Canvaspop.

Joshua Klein explained the future of networking is about who you know.

Sarah Lewis shared her perspective on failure as part of the creative process.

Wendy MacNaughton (who is ridiculous, just in general) gave us a glipmse of how to document our world.

Oliver Burkeman gave us the upside of uncertainty and failure.

John Maeda discussed the intersection of design, tech, and education.

Tina Roth Eisenberg shared her incredible journey of designing, coworking, temporary tattoos, and mostly, of fun.


Robert Brunner shared the story of Ammunition and of designing products that change the game.

Joanne Wilson explained how to have a rich life while building great businesses.

Susan Gregg Koger shared her story of passion for fashion (Modcloth) and building a business around/with a community.

Jason Fried and Scott Heiferman talked about connecting with people (employees), about respecting people, and the challenges of entrepreneurship.

Seth Godin answered a few questions.

Shantanu Starick shared his journey around the world using only a camera and a smile.

Hank Willis Thomas brought out the truth (about race and other topics).


Marc Ecko slayed us with the idea of staying true to our vision and values.

It was gloriously exhausting!

Where My Disruption Leads

I talked with Makerbot Academy Executive Director Jennifer Lopez about raising $1,000,000 to put a Makerbot in every single Chicago Public School.

I talked with a Wagner College grad, trustee about building an Institute for Social Innovation there to impact the students, faculty, and surrounding community.

I have a plan of (1) how to coordinate and manage the growing (350+) group of ridiculous women, and (2) how to coordinate 5 higher education institutions to help me redefine entrepreneurship education.

I have a cool idea (to me anyway!) of how to work with my son to visually document our daily existence using father-and-son Lego minifigures we build.

I get inspired by chaos, by noise, by groups of people. I am not a fan of silence, of retreating into anything to find inspiration or that creative muse. My muse, I guess, is other people’s creative energy. I love it – can’t get enough!

If I am disrupted once per day, and inspired once per day, that’s a full day. I was (both) for two solid days. It was amazing.

What inspires you?

What is your disruption?

Creativity and Passion: Ingredients for a Cure

As last night unfolded, two things happened simultaneously that created some connections I couldn’t ignore.  One was the Grammy Awards.  The other was that my son’s school district cancelled school today, and then my university cancelled school today and tomorrow.  Seemingly unrelated, right?  Bear with me while I tie them together to form the basis of a new education approach that I will expand upon later.

The Music Never Stops

Why are we as a society infatuated with musicians?  Sure, part of it is jealousy and fantasy – wanting what they have that we never could.  But look and feel deeper than that.  Their music inspires us, is the thread that weaves through the stories of our life, connects us to each other.

creativity and passion

Imagine a world without these musicians and the music they produce?  So why are we so engrossed with it?  I think it is because these individuals are showing us a raw mix of creativity and passion.  They are passionate about the music they create – as passionate as anyone could be about anything (watch an old Jerry Lee Lewis clip).  Have you ever really watched the facial expressions of musicians?  In any other setting, those facial expressions would be seriously awkward, would be ridiculed.  But for a musician, we expect it.  We permit it.  We embrace it.  Why?  Because it is their passion resulting from their creativity coming through in it’s purest, rawest form.  It’s not just passion – we all have that for something.  It is the passion for creative expression.  That, to me, is the key.  That is what is so infectious, so contagious about music and musicians.

music passion storytellingThey are sharing their experiences through creativity and passion-laden stories.  That we all can understand and identify with.  We want to know more.  We want to share more.  We want to feel more.  Shouldn’t education be the same way?  Shouldn’t learning evoke the same glorious reactions?

The School Does Stop

My university and my son’s school district cancelled school.   I’ll give you one guess what the students’ reaction to this was.  Elation!

ElationCan you guess what the teachers’ reactions were?  Scanning through social media, emails, etc. I see teachers who are equally as pumped about school closing as students.  This is for another soapbox moment, but that reaction from teachers tells an awful lot about the state of education.  Back to the issue.  Why are students not mad about missing school?  Because they don’t like it – they have a better alternative.  Why don’t they like it?  What is their alternative?  It is creativity and passion – the things that we provide at home or elsewhere away from school.  They can use their imagination, they can explore their surroundings, they can develop their own stories.  They have the opportunity to engage their creativity and to feel and share their passion.  The students don’t miss anything about school because they can’t be creative, because they can’t explore or express their passion, because they cannot share and explore their own experiences.  That doesn’t fit in a box or map onto some standardized test, so the school don’t let them (for the most part – of course there are some that do).  Some will argue that students can do this within the framework of the common core nonsense.  Yes, but they have to do it within that box.  If we took the box away and allowed them to explore, to be creative, to share and live their passion, I think students would be pissed when school was cancelled.  How happy would we be as parents if our children were upset when school was cancelled?

AngerHow happy would we be as educators if our students wanted to engage in class, and were telling us how pissed they were when class was cancelled?

Creativity and Passion

As with most problems, the path to a solution doesn’t have to be difficult.  It just takes a little bit of innovative thinking, creativity, and passion.  Look at musicians.  As we’re cutting funding for music and other self-expression outlets in schools, let’s think about what we’re doing.  Are the people who fit into boxes contagious, infectious?  Are they telling stories we want to hear and share?  Are they the role models that effectuate positive social change?  A resounding NO!!!!  Musicians hold part of the promise for education.  In their passion and in their creativity.  It is through that mixture that children can once again love learning and the environment where they learn.  Think about the last time your children were truly engaged, were being thrilled, were laughing contagiously.

JoyI’ll wager those moments had something to do with being creative and had something to do with something the child is passionate about.  We need to get back to the power of creativity and the power of passion.   I’ll explain how I see that happening in a future post.