Caroline and I first met George Prince in the middle of a New England railway track (he collected us from a station halt). Welcoming us into his home, he told us about the origins of Synectics and his then latest project, MindFree. With its powerful use of metaphor, Synectics had long intrigued us, but at that time we knew very little about it apart from reading Bill Gordon's book, Synectics, so we were grateful for the opportunity to meet one its founders.
This book is dedicated to the work of George Prince who co-founded Synectics Inc. with his colleagues, William J. J. Gordon, Dick Sperry and Carl Marden. Synectics is a powerful means of developing creativity which was first described by Bill Gordon in his book, Synectics: The Development of Creative Capacity, published in 1960 in New York by Harper & Row.
Vlad Glaveanu has a BA in Psychology from the University of Bucharest, and an MSc in Social and Cultural Psychology from the London School of Economics where he recently completed a PhD in Social Psychology. In September 2012, he became Associate Professor at Aalborg University. His main interest is in creativity and innovation and in particular the intersections between creativity, society and culture.
His work aims to develop a socio-cultural psychology of creativity, one that offers a situated and micro-level account of the phenomenon and explores creative acts in everyday life contexts. Vlad has published several articles on these topics in creativity journals (such as the Creativity Research Journal, the Journal of Creative Behavior and Thinking Skills & Creativity) as well as in social and general psychology outlets (such as the Review of General Psychology, Culture & Psychology, the Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour and Theory & Psychology). He is currently the Editor of Europe's Journal of Psychology (EJOP), a peer-reviewed open access publication published by PsychOpen.
Roy van Dalm is senior lecturer in Urban Identity & Creativity at HAN University of Applied Sciences in Arnhem, The Netherlands. Roy is one of the leading journalists in The Netherlands on creative cities. For several years he worked for Het Financieele Dagblad – the Dutch equivalent of the Financial Times – where he initiated a weekly series profiling 80 creative and innovative cities in Europe called Slimme Steden (‘smart cities’). 50 of these profiles ended up in the book Slimme Steden van Antwerpen tot Zürich (‘smart cities from Antwerp to Zurich’) of which Roy was one of the authors. This bestselling book was called Europe’s first guide to creative cities. For HAN University, Roy co-initiated a series called the HAN Creative Masterclasses, addressing several aspects of creativity by inviting renowned speakers. For this series Roy has worked among others with Kjell Nordstrom, Richard Florida, Charles Leadbeater, Pekka Himanen, Peter Senge and Charles Landry. At the moment Roy is involved in teaching, research and publishing on citybranding, using Jungian brandarchetypes. He is a member of ARCCI, the Arnhem Centre for the Creative Economy and Innovation.
Gerard is a trainer, writer and researcher specialising in creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation. He was awarded the first Onians Creativity Fellow by the RSA (the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) for which he undertook research into the characteristics, motivations and barriers to success of young entrepreneurs in the UK. During this fellowship he conducted qualitative interviews with 44 young entrepreneurs many of whom were close to the start of their ventures. He repeated the interviews three years later to examine the challenges of sustaining and growing a venture in the UK and now, ten years on, he is looking to interview the entrepreneurs again to consider how well the UK supports ventures in the longer term.
He runs workshops on ideation, creative thinking and enterprising thinking and is currently developing a training programme on ‘Getting Ideas to Fly’.
He has written a number of booklets for young people on making ideas happen including The Little Book for Big Ideas, Dare to Dream and Get Connected.
His Sideways Thinking blog can be found here: http://sideways-thinking.blogspot.com/
A recent talk he gave on BBC Radio 4 on creativity in education can be heard here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01b1g9l