Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Dissecting the Interview: Dr. Amabile at Buffalo State

A review by: Julia Figliotti
Graduate Assistant
International Center for Studies in Creativity
Images and sketchnotes by: Melinda Walker

The Interview

Sketchnotes by Melinda Walker
On October 18, Buffalo State was graced by the presence of one of the most gifted and forward-thinking minds in Creativity: Dr. Teresa Amabile, a researcher and writer who was born and bred right here in Buffalo, NY.  In an hour-long sitting, the ICSC's own Dr. Gerard Puccio went back and forth with Dr. Amabile, discussing everything from her childhood inspirations to the future of creativity.  And now, almost a month later, we are taking a look back on the interview that was the first of many in an up-and-coming series: Dissecting Creativity.

The interview with Dr. Amabile kicked off right at the beginning of her creative career: during her childhood.  A charming, animated woman, Dr. Amabile was more than ready to dive into the details.  We learned about her early creative influences, her childhood blocks to creativity, and her family's drive to nourish creativity every day.  Apart from being incredibly relatable (scientists are people, too!), Dr. Amabile's stories and anecdotes were engaging and fun, inviting the audience in and making us want to know that much more.

Sketchnotes by Melinda Walker
As the interview progressed, we were introduced to two of Dr. Amabile's publications: Growing Up Creative, a book for parents and teachers about limitations to childhood creativity and how to better avoid them; and The Progress Principle, which examines the creative climate in businesses, along with intrinsic and extrinsic motivators.  (A review of The Progress Principle can be found here.)

The brief Q&A session at the end of the interview provided us with a final, compelling insight into the world of creativity research.  Dr. Amabile tentatively explored what she believed to be the future of creativity, and the solutions to the lack of creativity found in schools today.

If you missed the interview, or simply want to watch it again and again (we don't blame you!), it can be found here.  If you would like to see photos from the event, simply click on this link.  The International Center for Studies in Creativity would once again like to thank Dr. Teresa Amabile for her interest and enthusiasm in this interview series, as well as everyone who supported the event.  We look forward to planning and hosting our next Dissecting Creativity interview!

About Dr. Teresa Amabile

Aside from being a Buffalo native and one of the most celebrated authors in her field, Dr. Teresa Amabile has used her creativity expertise and research to work with companies such as Procter & Gamble, Motorola, IDEO, and the Creative Education Foundation. She has spoken at Ted x Atlanta and was the host/instructor of the 26-part instructional series, Against All Odds: Inside Statistics, which aired on PBS.  She currently holds the position of Edsel Bryant Ford Professor of Business Administration in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit at Harvard Business School, and is also a Director of Research.  Dr. Amabile has been published in countless studies in the field of creativity, and has authored several books relating to creativity and motivation.

About Julia Figliotti

Julia is a current student in the Master's program at the International Center for Studies in Creativity. Aside from working as a Graduate Assistant in the Creative Studies department and going to school full-time, Julia enjoys writing children's stories and short fiction. She has a B.A. in Writing from SUNY Buffalo State and plans on completing her M.Sc. in Creativity in May 2014.

About Melinda Walker

Melinda Walker has a B.A. degree in Art, with a double concentration in studio art and graphic design; a California Clear teaching credential, with subject authorizations in the arts, as well as a CLAD (Cultural, Language, and Academic Development) certificate; and a Master of Science in Creativity, Innovation, & Change Leadership. She also has an A.A. degree in commercial art.  Melinda has experience teaching kids how to make ideas visible, flesh them out, and communicate them to others. She has coordinated and installed her students' work at public libraries and the San Francisco International Airport. She also has a passion for designing educational materials for children, some of which have been published in various children's magazines.  

Melinda is now establishing a visual thinking business that provides visual thinking services to make complex ideas simple so people can better understand, decide, communicate, or act on them. Find out more about Melinda's work here!

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