Testimonial Yves De Smet
Yves De Smet is one of the Euriginals, the first cohort in Europe. He lives and works in Luxemburg in a strategic marketing role in the chemical industry. Since June 2015 Yves is pursuing ICSC’s Master program. After one year, when he had earned his Graduate Certificate, we asked him some questions. Here’s what he told us about his creative journey.
What made you decide to study creativity?
At work I gradually developed an interest in where ideas come from, how one defines a “good” idea, and how better ideas can be found – individually, and in teams. During my MBA studies I got intrigued by (a) the important role of creativity in (amongst many others) entrepreneurship, negotiation and innovation, and how that contrasted with (b) how little time was spent explaining what creativity was and how it worked. The fact that this is a Master’s of Science degree was important to me; it was a guarantee that this would not just be a bunch of popular scientific stories, but based on well-grounded scientific research and methodologies.
What are the highlights of your studies so far?
I’m getting to grips with creativity, creative problem solving, facilitation thereof, and all this from a fundamental/academic point of view. This learning is reinforced with a lot of hands-on assignments on the job or in my community. Moreover I’ve learnt a lot about myself, about “how I tick”, and how I can better leverage my strengths to live a richer life, privately and professionally. I’m getting to know what I don’t know, whic
h makes me a wiser person. The book titles I come across that make me think “I want to read that one day” is growing so fast that I decided to eat healthier, drink less and sport more so as to hopefully live longer.
What would you tell someone who is considering to pursue this program?
Creativity is a very interesting and intriguing domain. If you think you knew that, come study here for a year and think again. There are so many angles to this, so much to unveil, that many myths to tear down, so many theories to be interpreted. It’s so old yet so young as a discipline. Few people realize there’s this much science to it. Although there is still so much to be understood and discovered too; it’s a very young science comp
ared to others like math or physics – which makes it exciting to become part of a still rather small community of scholars studying creativity. Going through this with a cohort of people as passionate about creativity as I am, is a fun experience, creating friendships for life.
This MSc is by far my richest stretch of education so far.
Testimonial Carian van der Sman
“The real wealth of a nation is its people. And the purpose of development is to create an enabling environment for people to enjoy long, healthy, and creative lives. This simple but powerful truth is too often forgotten in the pursuit of material and financial wealth”
These are not my words, but the beautiful words of Mabub Ul Haq’s, a former Pakistan’s finance minister and creator of the Human Development Index.
I’ve been working in the healthcare sector since I was 15 years old: as a nurse assistant, a human kinetic technologist, as a researcher and change leader. Making lives easier for those who need care is my primary purpose in everything I professionally do.
At some point in my career I lost my energy in creating new products, services and health programs. I lost it totally. The purpose was not the problem. The process was. I was working too hard, too serious, too cognitive and too much in sequence with others instead off in co-creation. A fundamental training in creative thinking changed my behavior and triggered my curiosity. It brought me to this Master program.
After one year of studying I dare say that the work I do results in more health and well-being. For me, the people I work with and the people I work for. It is the creative attitude and process that makes the difference.
Studying Creativity and Change Leadership gives me the knowledge, skills and attitudes to provide healthy problem solving environments. Co-creative environments in which people can flourish, everyone can join equally, confidence and joy in creating grow, and beautiful outcomes naturally follows.
I am becoming a “creative environmentalist”. You too?
Carian van der Sman – Student of the first cohort in Europe – www.carean.nl
More testimonials of the students
of the first cohort in Europe,
the Euriginals, on our video page.
Testimonial Florian Rustler
The Master’s program in Creativity had a strong impact on my life. It provided me with very important life skills of creativity that can be applied in any situation where new thinking and new perspectives are relevant, and that is almost anywhere.
I used the knowledge to give my training and consulting company Creaffective a new direction focusing on creativity and innovation. The knowledge acquired in the program is an important and credible foundation for that.
My Master’s project was about applying the creative thinking skills as well as the Creative Problem Solving Process to develop a concrete concept for a business venture I was thinking about at that time. The project helped me to develop the concept to a level of maturity that allowed me and my partners to get appropriate feedback from the market. In the end I decided not to implement it, as the market situation was not as good as initially hoped. The Creative Studies program fortunately also taught me that “failure” is also part of the creative process as it helps you to figure out what works and what does not and to learn from your mistakes.
Testimonial Luciano Boccucci
My experience in Buffalo with the program was very interesting and rewarding. The content of the Master’s program was concrete and useful, and I appreciated it even more over the years. I had the opportunity to incubate and assimilate in a concrete way how to apply it to my real professional life.
When I enrolled for the Master’s I was subconsciously ready for a change but I didn’t realize to which degree. So the program enhanced my creative vision for my professional life and, as a result, this has been achieved. Stretching creative thinking and applying it to something concrete has allowed me to achieve my objectives. Thanks to this program I have developed a creative mindset which allows me to think up ever new visions when required.
My paper was about the transition to new professional life: how to apply a creative process to a corporate identity. I quit my previous job as Leader in a multinational organization and I founded NoStopEvolution (NSE), a company focused on supporting people and organizations in daring more, using creative thinking skills. Today this is my daily job: I am passionate about supporting people and organizations that want to develop creativity to evolve. So creativity in my professional experience has been applied so far to people, to company environments, to products and services.
Testimonial Erik op ten Berg
With about 20 years experience as a creativity professional I decided to participate in this Master Program to explore in depth the fundamentals and new horizons of creativity and creative thinking. I was attracted to this Master Program because of the solid academic roots of the Creative Problem Solving approach and because of all the good program references I heard at conferences like CREA.
During my distance study in 2010-2012 I obtained lots of practical and inspirational insights about the application of creativity in a work environment. The activity-based approach between students and with professors stimulated me to expand my professional focus on creativity in a very enriching way.
As part of the assignments I developed several tools to use in my own client work. And I wrote several practical papers on topics that had my interest. I focused my final master project on Everyday Creativity. It was the big finale of a precious two years discovery journey. The program made me grow as a solid master in creativity and change.
Testimonial Laura Barbero Switalski
The Master’s program was a very enjoyable experience, certainly a challenging one in many good ways, as it always pushed me to grow and evolve, never to settle for less. I loved the balance between theory and practice, you need both when you go out there in the business world. Practice grounded in theory allows you to be confident in front of a group, and a client, and to anchor the activities and techniques you use into solid knowledge.
I also loved meeting colleagues from many different countries and cultures, I learned a lot from the cross-fertilization and exchange of thoughts and perspectives with my peers.
The Master’s in Creative Studies opened my eyes to a new world. It had a transformational effect on my personal life, unleashing a creative potential I did not know I had. Going through the program, I began to internalize creative thinking and to naturally use Creative Problem Solving in my personal relationships and approach to life. As a consequence, my life has flourished in all respects: when you learn to turn challenges into opportunities, you start looking at the world and at other people in a new way, increasing your success and personal fulfillment in life.
Organizations are struggling with constant and accelerated change, demanding our help as creativity professionals. Thanks to this Masters’ program I was able to create a new job for myself, that is highly stimulating and enjoyable, allowing me to work with like-minded people and to constantly challenge myself to try new approaches and begin new ‘ventures’. What more would you want from your job?
Since I graduated from the Masters’ program I expanded my own business, I confounded a very successful international conference, CREA Conference, which takes place in Italy since 2003, I started a course at the Master’s Level that I teach at Buffalo State as adjunct faculty, I co-authored a book, Creativity Rising: Creative Thinking and Creative Problem Solving in the 21st Century and, recently, with some colleagues, I launched a Certification program in Creative Leadership and Facilitation for Innovation in the Spanish-speaking world, endorsed by the International Center for Studies in Creativity (http://www.lacertificacion.org).