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Baguettes of Co-Creativity: What We Really Knead

In this fast-paced age of endless information and hyper-connectivity, topics and sometimes even entire projects are like baguettes: no matter how fresh you get ‘em, the countdown to when they’ll go stale is limited. When I first began working on this blog post, which was admittedly a few weeks ago, my intention was to write about how I have noticed a recent explosion in how-to-be-more-creative articles on the web and, in light of this overwhelmingly exponential accumulation of advice, how we can best make use of it all.

But then I went on vacation and, most unsurprisingly, came back to find a more relevant topic at hand: the burst in media coverage of our rampant tech addiction. Consequently, with this blog in mind, I knew I had to switch it up. All the same, though, I would still like to take some of these old baguettes and make croutons. That said, here is my “pre-vacation” thinking…

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With countless articles on how to be more creative circulating the Internet these days, you could probably spend a good portion of the rest of your life just reading about it and never get around to actually putting any of the advice into action. Don’t get me wrong here: I’m all about this new ‘brain-hacking’ movement, but it seems to me that we’re ready for the next phase.

There is currently more than enough immediately attainable info out there on this topic, which means that it’s now up to us creatives to pick out a few of these tips and actually…Try. Them. Out. No more excuses. Besides, creativity is a phenomenal aspect of the human experience that can enrich our lives in profound ways if we have the courage and dedication to cultivate it.

So why not go for it? Been doing too much procrastinating? Read this. In the midst of an idea drought? Click here. Just plain bored? This’ll make you feel better. Oh, and maybe check out this, too. And this. Or maybe you want to see this topic addressed in an infographic? Here you go.

What’s next, then? Where do we go from here? If creatives do, in fact, end up making the most of this wealth of information on how to become more innovative and productive, then it will likely result in a surge of damn good ideas. And while a lot more fresh, innovative thinking is surely a good thing, it also presents a challenge: How can we effectively maximize the potential of this collective awakening? Well, we’ll get to that. After all, this could very well be a trail of breadcrumbs leading us to a new way of interacting with information and one another. But first, allow me to knead some dough for these new baguettes, if you will, and lay out my “post-vacation” thinking…

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Our culture has caught a sobering glimpse of the reflection of its insatiable, entranced gaze in the screens of the various objects of its devotion, which has yielded a wonderful opportunity for some introspection. I regard this as a disruptive trend in the context of the topic I originally set out to tackle. By my prediction, if we heed this “moment of clarity” about our collective dependence on the Digital World, it could ultimately lead to more self-regulatory, selective and purposeful use of all things digital. My asking how we should harness the Blog World’s current surplus of how-to-be-more-creative advice merely echoes, on a smaller scale, the implications of our budding self-awareness regarding our culture of tech addiction.

The overall theme is this: No matter how much excellent information and advice we take in from our glowing screens, it’s still up to us to actualize the value of that information by genuinely improving ourselves and putting it into action.

Biologically speaking, food is fuel, so food-for-thought ought to be regarded as fuel-for-action, or at least fuel-for-conviction in decision making. Likewise, when we find ourselves spending an unjustifiably significant amount of time consuming endless how-to/self-help/DIY pieces without really putting any of the content we’ve read into action, maybe it’s time to start asking ourselves if we really need all those “empty calories” of information. Maybe it’s time to, you know, burn some of them off…

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Okay, well, we’ve come full-circle (or, in the interest of motivational calorie-burning analogies, we’ve “completed a lap around the track”) and are now back to the question, “How can we effectively maximize the potential of this collective awakening?” In our futurist-oriented thinking, we at Visual Insight decided to answer this question by focusing on an emerging business disruptor: Co-creativity. Although the emergence of co-creativity as a disruptive trend is inevitable, we believe that to effectively leverage co-creativity is the best solution.

Eileen Clegg, founder and lead visual journalist of Visual Insight, describes co-creativity as, “Collaboration with a spark of genius within a group—just as creativity is talent with a spark of genius for an individual. The spark is what leads to something entirely unique, such as individual invention or group innovation.” When co-creativity is present, “individuals take turns serving one another’s gifts and they sync up based on their strengths.” Therefore, with an intellectual climate that encourages individuals to fully tap into their creative potential—as we have seen with the emergence of “how-to” resources on the web—there is even more potential to harness the magic of co-creativity.

Since we’ve only scratched the surface of the concept of co-creativity in this piece, we will delve deeper into it by defining it further, as well as exploring its role as a business disruptor and the implications of this trend, in subsequent posts. Please stay tuned and join us in our research, exploration and evolving perspective on this exciting new topic.

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