You have always been creative. And so have I. As you are a reader of The International Journal of Creativity and Human Development, you already know that.
I know that you are creative because everyone is. And I know that because every one of us has been a child. And all children are creative. We are all born with the ability to create, (Picasso spent a great deal of time trying to return to drawing in the way that children draw.) it is part of being human, but as we travel through life, it gets knocked out of us, or suppressed, so that most of us reach the stage where we believe that we are no longer creative. That is not so.
Marilyn is a Director of the Creativity Centre UK Ltd, and Chief Executive of the Creativity Centre Educational Trust - a voluntary role. A chartered psychologist and author, her work has been presented and published internationally.
Marilyn enjoys talking about creativity education in the UK. This was the theme of her keynote presentations at the Annual Meeting of the Japanese Association of Educational Psychology in Shizuoka, Japan; the Torrance Lecture Series, Athens, Georgia; and the International Forum on Creativity at the opening of the Nobel Prize Centennial Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur where she was also a panel member for Forging the Creative Agenda for Malaysia. Marilyn has also undertaken consultancy on the development of creativity for various government bodies in the UK and overseas.
Before co-founding the Creativity Centre with Caroline, Marilyn spent much of her career in the university sector undertaking research and teaching creativity education, developmental and cognitive psychology. At Leeds Metropolitan University, where she was Reader in Psychology, she set up the cross-university Centre for Innovation and Creativity (CIC) as well as devising and delivering a series of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in applied creativity, supervising research and undertaking her own research into creativity in education.
One of the things Marilyn most enjoys is meeting people from all over the world and collaborating with them to create publications and learning resources in the area of creativity and human development, which is one reason why she enjoys being an editor of this journal.
Ernesto Villalba is a researcher at the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP). Previously, he has worked as a consultant for the European Commission and assisted in the creation of the European Lifelong Learning Index for the Bertelsmann Foundation.
Our research began in 1958 and by 1960 we believed we knew enough about the creative process to start our own invention company, Synectics, Inc. In addition to inventing products to develop ourselves, we offered a service called a Problem Innovation Laboratory. When a company wanted a new product, service, process, or had a serious problem, we asked it to bring the relevant people to our laboratory. Over a two and a half day period we facilitated meetings in which they solved their own problem.
The Creativity Centre Educational Trust (CCET) is a UK registered charity which was set up in 2000 to widen access to creativity education and development. Creativity in this sense is about enabling people to think and behave in more innovative ways so that they can find new or improved ways of dealing with challenges as well as developing the skills they need to create new opportunities for themselves and others.
The charity is overseen by its Board of Trustees: Dr Richard Perkin, Sally Bassett, Coll Bell, Dr Lynda Foster, Wesley Zepherin and Paul Scofield. Dr Marilyn Fryer is the charity's chief executive, a post which was previously held by Caroline Fryer Bolingbroke for many years. Dr M K Raina is the charity's external advisor, succeeding the late Dr Morris I Stein and Dr E Paul Torrance.
We provide creative education for members of the public and various organisations through projects, workshop facilitation, events, publications and conferences. We enable our clients to develop a wide range of creative problem solving skills which they can apply to key issues relevant to them. When facilitating groups, we ensure that every participant's concerns and ideas are taken on board at all stages of the creative problem solving process - from idea generation through to the development of an implementation strategy. Valuing each person's unique contribution in this way ensures that outcomes are always relevant to the objectives of the group as a whole.
As far as personal development is concerned, we help people tap into their own creativity, learn new creative problem solving skills along with developing increased self confidence, self esteem and motivation.
Time well spent
Well organisaed, enthusiastic organisers and good mix of participants
Reassuring that others share similar issues
Open discussion, friendly group, fresh ideas.
Running our Creativity & Human Development ejournal is a key element of the charity's work. The journal co-founders and editors are Caroline Fryer Bolingbroke, Dr Marilyn Fryer and Venu Dhupa. Its founding member is Diane Kessenich. The aim of this independent, interdisciplinary ejournal is to publish research papers and features on all aspects of creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and human development – bringing together these fields of study. It includes work in education, psychology, science and technology, arts and culture, business, and health and well-being. In particular, the journal aims to provide:
We are particularly keen to include high quality work which is not normally accessible to a wide audience and we welcome material from all disciplines, cultures and countries. The journal includes blind peer-reviewed academic papers, popular features, art works, interviews and book reviews. We also invite key researchers to guest edit special issues featuring creativity research in their country. And we really welcome readers' suggestions, comments and questions. EBSCOhost have also told us that this journal is to be included in an upgraded version of Academic Search database which they describe as 'the most prestigious multi-disciplinary database in the academic world'. This database will go live soon.
This journal is funded by sponsorship and subscriptions from universities and other organisations. Feature articles, book reviews and interviews are free to view, whilst academic research papers are by subscription only. Subscribers can sign up directly on the journal's website or via subscription agencies such as EBSCO Subscription Services (ESS), Harrassowitz and Electronic Resource Consulting. Sponsors include Creative Scotland (founding sponsor), the University of West Scotland, Nottingham Trent University, Arts Council England, the Springboard Consultancy, Bartons Solicitors and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. We are always pleased to hear from organisations who would like to sponsor this journal or one of the issues. Forthcoming Special Issues will feature Creativity Research in Romania, Japan and the USA.
We are currently piloting two Merry Widows Projects in South Devon, UK. The aim of these projects is to bring together older women living in this area who would like work together to make a positive difference in their community. We act as facilitators, initially taking them through an enjoyable creative problem solving process to identify the project they want to deliver and how they intend to carry this out. This is followed by the implementation and evaluation stages.
But this is just the beginning. Our intention is that, once formed, these creative volunteer groups will continue with this work supported by further grants and sponsorship. Much is talked about the burden of an ageing population but we regard this as a valuable resource of experience, skills and resilience. We envisage many new friendships being formed, both amongst our project participants and with those they help. One of these projects, in Torbay, is funded by the South West Foundation and Esmee Fairbairn, and the other, in the South Hams, by the South West Foundation and Sovereign Housing. We also have the support of Torbay Age UK.
KJ Ho is the most well-known and widely used creativity development programme in Japan. In 2011 we hosted the very first KJ Ho workshop in English and outside Japan. We have also just finished delivering a KJ Ho project for members of the Hi Tech Forum in Torbay, Devon, UK, facilitated by Dr Toshio Nomura with Caroline Fryer Bolingbroke. This project was partly funded by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation (GBSF), with sponsorship from Torbay Development Agency (TDA) and Spirent Communications Inc. together with in-kind support from the TDA and the South West Energy Centre (SWEC) which is part of South Devon College.
A key aim of this project was to explore the innovation potential of the Torbay Hi Tech Forum with a view to maximising its potential and enhancing its contribution to the economic development of the Bay. A number of key hi tech company managers worked together on this project and, according to a spokesperson for the TDA, all their recommendations are to be implemented.
As a result of the generosity of Dr Nomura and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, we are now able to offer free annual subscriptions to our ejournal to four Japanese universities. As a charity we have strong links with Japan. In 2009 Dr Marilyn Fryer gave an invited keynote presentation on Creativity Education in the UK: Past, Present & Future at the 51st Annual Meeting of the Japanese Association of Educational Psychologists. Our journal will soon be hosting a Special Issue on Creativity Research in Japan, guest edited by Emeritus Professor Dr Kenichi Yumino.
We have just finished working with the third cohort of our highly successful Creating Your Future project. The purpose of this project is to help unemployed and underemployed adults in South Devon, UK to set up in business, obtain work, training or to access volunteering opportunities. What distinguishes it from more traditional employment projects is that this course includes training in creative thinking. This gives participants a valuable set of skills for use in their future careers. Delivery for the first two cohorts was funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) with a grant from the South West Foundation in collaboration with the Learning Curve. Delivery for our third cohort was funded by a Royal Bank of Scotland Skills & Opportunities Award.
Here are just a few examples of feedback from participants:
'This has enabled me to look at new things that are possible for me'.
'I'm now thinking of doing something I never would have thought of before'.
'It's given me hope of moving forward'.
'I've got this far in the first ten weeks; what could I achieve in another ten weeks!'
'... I really enjoyed myself and have taken steps to better my future... you helped me to get my life on track and have started me on the road to a better life for me and my son'.
This is a follow-on, higher level creativity development programme for those who have already taken part in our Creating Your Future course. Its aim is to further develop participants' creative problem solving skills, provide them with training in mentoring so that they can support other unemployed people if they wish, and enable this self-help group to flourish. It is funded by Red Nose Day Community Cash from the Devon Community Foundation.
We have just received an award from UK company, Warburtons, to purchase equipment for a creative film club we'll soon be running for disadvantaged school children in South Devon. Children aged 10 and over will be able to develop their creative thinking and media skills whilst making a film which they will be able to showcase to their parents and carers.
This project, funded by Arts Council England, involved South Devon artists learning more about creativity development and how our ejournal, Creativity & Human Development, can help them learn more about creativity, inform their practice, showcase their work and enable them to connect with artists elsewhere.
In September 2002 we held the UK's first international conference on Creativity & Cultural Diversity. This five day residential conference, organised by Caroline Fryer Bolingbroke, was held at Sussex University and was a huge success. It featured creativity research pioneers from all over the world with participants and workshop leaders coming from all continents. Before this, the contribution of culturally diverse communities to our understanding of creativity had been a neglected area and this conference was a significant catalyst for the launch of our ejournal and its focus on creativity in different cultures and countries.
Another outcome was the publication of an internationally-authored book, Creativity & Cultural Diversity, in 2004. This was funded by Arts Council England and the European Social Fund (ESF) under the Equal Community Initiative Programme.
Science Alliance, the brainchild of Caroline Fryer Bolingbroke, was a project for Year 5 and Year 6 pupils in UK primary (elementary schools). This project involved the children creating a Science Alliance website for other children to use. The pilot, funded by the UK's National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) was delivered in four Brighton & Hove schools. The teachers retained responsibility for science education and the charity for teaching the children creative problem solving skills and media technology. The children loved it! Their progress in creative thinking was objectively evaluated and found to be amazing and their performance on SATs tests was equally impressive. As a result, the charity was invited to deliver this project elsewhere and took up the offer to run a follow-up project in Kirklees, with funding from Kirklees Local Education Authority and the support of the Hudawi Cultural Centre. Once again results were impressive. Our work on this project was presented to the Qualifications & Curriculum Authority (England) at their request and commended by the Royal Society.
We have an excellent track record of running a wide range of projects for teachers, adults, children and young people. If you are interested in any of the above or in our future projects, please get in touch.
For more information about CCET’s work or how you can support it, please contact us.
If you would like to make a donation to support our work we would very much appreciate it. Please note this is not the same as a subscription to the journal which is on this page.
The Creativity Centre Educational Trust is a UK registered charity and non-profit company limited by guarantee.
Registered charity no. 1095342. Registered company no. 4023948.
Registered Office: First Floor, CEF Building, Broomhill Way, Torquay, TQ2 7QN, UK