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 charity set up by Dr Marilyn and Caroline Fryer to widen access to creativity education and development. Creativity in this sense is about enabling people to think and act in more innovative ways so that they can find new or improved ways of dealing with challenges as well as developing the skills to create new opportunities for themselves and others.
The charity is overseen by its Board of Trustees: Sally Bassett (Chair), Dr Richard Perkin, Coll Bell, Alison Milner and Iain Burns. Dr Marilyn Fryer is the charity’s chief executive. Dr M K Raina is the charity’s external advisor, succeeding the late Dr Morris I Stein and Dr E Paul Torrance.
To enable individuals and organisations to develop the creative abilities they need for tackling complex challenges more effectively, for creating and developing opportunities for themselves and others, and benefitting the community as a whole.
To be the go-to place for training, facilitation and information about creativity and innovation.
The charity has been working in the area of creativity and human development for 20 years and have an excellent international reputation for this work. We run a range of community projects in Torbay and South Devon as well as our international e-journal, Creativity & Human Development. Our work is published and presented internationally. Locally, we enable people learn creative problem solving and other skills that they can use to overcome the problems and challenges they face such as unemployment, loneliness and social isolation. We also run creativity development workshops for the voluntary and education sectors. We really enjoy working with members of the South Devon community and local colleagues as well as our colleagues overseas.
We have just finished working with the fifth cohort of this popular course and have thoroughly enjoyed it. The aim of this course is to enable people who wish to return to employment or self- employment to discover what career they would really like to do in the future, to learn a range of creative problem solving skills and strategies they can use to tackle any barriers they face and which will be equally valuable to them in their chosen careers. As participants realise just how creative and skilled they are they grow in self-confidence and self-esteem.
Here are just a few quotes from some of our participants:
'A great course!', 'Fun to do!', 'I’m now thinking of something I never would have thought of before', 'The activities and support have been wonderful'.
We started this project three years ago because we were tired of hearing that the older generation was seen as ‘a problem’ when in fact it’s a great resource of experience and expertise. This project has three aims, to bring together older women to share common interests and skills and to develop new ones, as a friendship group, and as a force for good in the community. To give just one example, one of our participants, a former health visitor who had previously had a stroke, wanted to create a branch of the charity, Different Strokes, in Totnes, to support younger stroke survivors since there was no such resource for miles around. This is now a thriving support group which meets regularly and is going from strength to strength.
This is a new peer support project beginning in March 2020. It was inspired by our participants and is supported by the Torbay Community Investment Fund. Please watch this space for more information!
Running our Creativity & Human Development international 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. 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. From time to time, we invite key researchers to guest edit special issues featuring creativity research in their country. And we really welcome readers’ suggestions, comments and questions.
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.
Previous examples of the work of charity staff include the UK's first international conference on Creativity & Cultural Diversity. We have also developed learning materials for the Department for Education & Employment (DfEE), undertaken creativity education consultancy for the Qualifications & Curriculum Authority (QCA), the National Advisory Committee for Creative & Cultural Education (NACCCE), and many others. Our work has been published and presented internationally - in Eastern & Western Europe (including by the European Commission), in the USA (Torrance Lecture Series), in Japan (Annual Educational Psychology Association Conference) and in Malaysia, in conjunction with the Opening of the Nobel Prize Centennial Exhibition, including keynote panel membership for Forging the Creative Agenda for Malaysia.
Our charity’s work has been supported by a NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund Award, a Tampon Tax Community Award, Awards for All from the National Lottery Community Fund, an ESF-funded award, and many other awards from Devon Community Foundation, South Devon Foundation, the Arts Council, Torbay Community Grants and Torbay Community Investment Fund. The charity's projects have also been sponsored by the Lloyds Bank Foundation, Creative Scotland, the London Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and various UK universities. Equality in employment is very important to us and we have been glad to participate in a number of relevant projects such as the ESF-funded Bradford Equal, and Disability Enterprise Support in West Yorkshire commissioned by Asian Trades Link (ATL).
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