Monday, September 18, 2017

Spotlight on CEE Presenter: Marta Davidovich Ockuly

I had the pleasure of interviewing Marta Davidovich Ockuly to gain insight into her life, her work and her upcoming talk at the Creativity Expert Exchange.  I was particularly struck by Marta’s confidence and her strong resilient nature. I greatly look forward to Marta’s talk at the Creativity Expert Exchange. 
Marta has been a full-time creativity researcher since arriving at ICSC in 2010. She earned her Master's in one year and was accepted into Saybrook University's doctoral program in 2011. Since then her focus has been researching the lived experience of creativity using humanistic, heuristic, qualitative methods. Heuristic inquiry is Marta’s chosen method to redefine creativity from the perspective of an educator/practitioner teaching for creativity in higher education.  Marta has been an award winning corporate creativity professional for 20 years. As a futurist she constantly scans print and social media, as well as a wide variety of journals to fuel her hunger for relevant new research findings.
Driven by her passion, Marta encourages and inspires people to take creative action to express their creativity. Marta shares Mark Runco's view that all creativity begins with personal creativity. She explained that creativity is an inside out experience. It is a person-centered process that can be practiced both individually and collaboratively. She compared creativity to swimming when she explained that creativity must be practiced and engaged with much like learning to swim in which you must enter the water in order to learn how to swim. She is passionate about creating conditions that facilitate awakening of adult creative potential with joy for personal and professional growth. When Marta shared some of her techniques I felt inspired to find my expressive pathway to engage in creativity every day. According to Marta the value of practicing personally meaningful creative process is the proven path to increasing self-awareness of creativeness.  Self-awareness leads to more engagement in and expression of personal creativity.
Marta wants creativity to be understood as a priceless gift that represents freedom and is a part of our nature as humans.  Our survival as a species may well depend on activation of untapped human potential. This will be particularly important as AI moves in to take over more jobs.  Humanity is facing huge challenges. Ultimately our well-being and power lies in building the confidence to actualize our most meaningful ideas.
As the founder of the she considers herself to be a “word nerd” with a fascination for the implicit definitions and other definitions of creativity grounded in the lived experience of practitioners.  The current scholarly definition of creativity is operational. It is meant to measure elements in the conceptual definition. But after 67 years there is no widely accepted, precise, descriptive, and imagination-infused conceptual definition of the lived experience of creativity.  Marta is committed to bringing the first descriptive, concise, and conceptual definition of creativity into the literature. She will be reveal her definition at the Creativity Expert Exchange. When Marta shared her definition with me, I felt inspired as it resonated deeply and is relatable to all of humanity.
Marta’s topic is something everyone can relate to. In the talk she will discuss the ‘elephant in the room’ that is known but not acknowledged in creativity research, theories, or definitions.  She will present a new way of seeing, understanding, and engaging in the lived experience of creativity. It is her hope that the audience will take away from her talk, a new definition of creativity that’s foundational, relatable and actionable.  Marta wants to inspire everyone present to engage in personally meaningful expressive creative process by being a beginner, trying fun ways of making and pushing old boundaries with joy!

Written by Melissa Miller

Melissa is completing her MS in Creativity and Change Leadership at the International Center for Studies in Creativity this semester. She holds the position of nursing lab coordinator for Genesee Community College. Melissa’s background is diverse with years of experience in a variety of domains including healthcare simulation, veterinary, research, academic advising, and counseling. Melissa is an experienced creative problem solving facilitator working with children, adults and college students in a variety of settings from 1:1 instruction to group instruction and from classroom to experiential settings. She enjoys travel, hiking, scuba diving and photography to capture images of life underwater and on land focusing on plants, animals and natural landscapes.


Renata said...

What a wonderful journey you are on, congratulations Marta.

Marta said...

Thank you Renata! I'm sorry it took 2 years for me to see this comment posted;(