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This September, COCAbiz will present its fourth annual creativity conference, SPARK, from 8am-6pm at COCA. The one-day conference on Sept. 2 will bring together innovative business leaders and teams to enhance creative thinking through hands-on art experiences, conversations led by both business strategists and teaching artists as well as keynote address from author, academic and designer John Maeda.
If you haven’t heard of John Maeda, he’s a bit of a big deal in leadership, art and design—making him an incredible asset to this conference. As a leader in the movement to transform STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering Math) to STEAM, with the inclusion of art, Maeda brings the perspective of how to position creativity as a valuable tool in business, leadership and life.
Going from a designer and computer scientist to the president of the Rhode Island School of Design in 2008 pushed Maeda to learn leadership quickly and in a new way, which he explores in his book, “Redesigning Leadership.” With his background, Maeda’s creativity has revealed a new way to be a leader, a way that values creativity and risk-taking for leaders of the next generation.
Maeda’s thoughtfulness isn’t limited to his books and lectures (he’s given three TED talks); his Twitter feed possesses a wealth of good advice and wise sayings. Below, we’ve compiled a few gems as a sneak peek of what he’ll bring to SPARK:
“Fail fast” and “embrace failure” miss the fact that failing isn’t the goal. “Recover fast” and “learn from failure” matter way more.
— John Maeda (@johnmaeda) July 22, 2015
A good visionary is a good intuitionary.
— John Maeda (@johnmaeda) June 26, 2015
Art continues to remind us that human beings still matter in a world where money talks the loudest, and computers try to know all about us.
— John Maeda (@johnmaeda) June 15, 2015
Extraordinary people easily forget there are ordinary people who care less about what’s *extra* and more about what’s essential.
— John Maeda (@johnmaeda) April 21, 2015
SPARK encourages participants to seek risk and change as vehicles for empowering the people who surround them as well as themselves. Workshops will focus on improving leadership, collaboration, communication and ideation.
Afternoon breakout sessions, designed to catapult the understanding of how to make adaptive change real within existing organizations, will feature 15 of St. Louis’ prominent innovators, including Donn Rubin, President and CEO of BioSTL; Felicia Shaw, Executive Director of Regional Arts Commission and ALIVE and EQ’s cofounder and Chief Creative Officer, Kelly Hamilton.
To learn more about SPARK, visit cocabiz.com/spark-conference.html.