Real-izing your Dream

From College8CoreWiki

This page is about finding your passion, improving your creativity, and making a difference. More on creativity and design can be found on the Sustainability page. See also Green Jobs and Internships. See *** for best.

Brainpickings has good advice from a variety of sources. for example:How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love

Utne Reader lists of 150 works that fire the imagination Part 1 and Part 2has quite a few influential green thinkers.

Fast Company's Guide To The Generation Flux College Degree. College is unaffordable, inefficient, and sometimes irrelevant. Here's a guide to navigating the new education paradigm, including key higher-order thinking skills, emotional intelligence, self-awareness, creativity, and design thinking.

What Is Your College Degree Worth? an interview with the author (audio) 6/11.

How to Fund your Dream

How to graduate college with a job you love & less debt: Jullien Gordon at TEDxMidwest.

A new study shows that spending four nature-filled days, away from electronic devices, is linked with 50 percent higher scores on a test for creativity.



Oblique Strategies: Over One Hundred Worthwhile Dilemmas cards, were predated by Yoko Ono’s instruction cards in the mid-1960’s. Brian Eno and his friend, painter and multimedia artist Peter Schmidt made their Oblique Strategies cards in late 1974. They discovered that they had both been working on similar lists of aphorisms for getting through difficult moments while doing creative work, but from the different paths of music and visual art.

LinkedIn (founded by College 8 Fellow Reid Hoffman)is a social network for professional development.


Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams (74 min youtube version). longer Google video version****

Steve Jobs' famous commencement speech from a legendary entrepreneur, co-founder of Apple.***

"Consider the Lobster" is an excellent essay on the ethics of eating animals by David Foster Wallace, bonus his fine commencement address This Is Water ***. (audio), (video), (as opposed to the fake one ascribed to Kurt Vonnegut (Ice 9 isn't real either, but you really should read his books).

Sir Ken Robinson has written numerous books on how to find your dream/passion, including The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything McHenry Stacks BF637.S4 R592 2009 (4 min audio), 11 min TEDx (full version). Life is not linear (video 15 min.) ; (35 min video) best version ***; The Element 75 min video. He is a systems thinker.

Robinson has also done phenomenally wise and popular video talks on education and creativity: original 2006 talk **** and 2010 followup TEDtalk, CBS News segment 1/10. Newer 2011 talk. 2013 TEDtalk. Related: We Need to Teach Kids Creative Thinking, and We’re Teaching Them the Opposite BigThink. 2014 TEDtalk.

The Marshmallow Challenge: creative teams. TEDtalk.

Steven Johnson shows how we have moved from "liquid networks" of London's coffee houses to Charles Darwin's long, slow hunch to today's high-velocity web. TEDtalk. 4 min summary of book ideas. extensive summary.

To find work you love, don't follow your passion by Benjamin Todd TEDxYouth@Tallinn. 2015 **

How to know your life purpose in 5 minutes | Adam Leipzig | TEDxMalibu *

JK Rowling: The fringe benefits of failure (TEDtalk) (text version).

Two Brilliant Hacks for Finding Your Calling BigThink. NationBuilder founder and CEO Jim Gilliam says try saying "yes" to things you're initially inclined to say "no" to. Second, just as with raising a child, unlocking one's personal potential requires a village. 1/16.

BigThink Are Geniuses Born or Made?

What is Water? *** by novelist David Foster Wallace, about why college matters. TEDtalk.

"Wrongologist" Kathryn Schulz makes a compelling case for not just admitting but embracing our fallibility. (TEDtalk).

Why you will fail to have a great career In this funny and blunt talk from TEDxUW, Larry Smith pulls no punches when he calls out the absurd excuses people invent when they fail to pursue their passions.

Economics writer Tim Harford studies complex systems -- and finds a surprising link among the successful ones: they were built through trial and error. (TEDtalk). Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure

Bart Weet­jens is developing a new approach to the land ­mine detection problem: train­ing giant pouched rats to detect explosives in minute amounts which combines two of his passions TEDtalk video.

The Proof is a really intriguing (really!) story about proving Fermat's Last Theorem.

Richard St. John's 8 secrets of success TEDtalk.

7 Skills students need for their future. Dr. Tony Wagner, co-director of Harvard's Change Leadership Group has identified what he calls a "global achievement gap," which is the leap between what even our best schools are teaching, and the must-have skills of the future: * Critical thinking and problem-solving * Collaboration across networks and leading by influence * Agility and adaptability * Initiative and entrepreneurialism * Effective oral and written communication * Accessing and analyzing information * Curiosity and imagination. Powerpoint.

Famous failures: "If you've never failed, you've never lived." (short video).

Making Money From Doing Good Noam Kostucki is a social entrepreneur who co-founded Seeducation & SeedPro through which he has coached and trained thousands of people from numerous organisations. He is passionate about education and believes everyone can make a positive contribution to the world while making money at the same time.

Big Think: The seven essential life skills: Focus and Self-Control, Perspective Taking, Communicating, Making Connections, Critical Thinking, Taking on Challenges, Self-Directed, Engaged Learning. (not an endorsment: tell us what you think). Jonathon Keats on metaphors and questions to shift POV. 1/15.

How to Communicate Your Ideas

Structure of Great Talks TEDtalk

How to Pitch Your Ideas TEDtalk.

How to Stand Out. Marketing guru Seth Godin spells out why, when it comes to getting our attention, bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones. TEDtalk

Google talk by presentation designer and internationally acclaimed communications expert Garr Reynolds, creator of the most popular Web site on presentation design and delivery on the net -- -- shares his experience in a provocative mix of illumination, inspiration, education, and guidance that will change the way you think about making presentations with PowerPoint or Keynote.


Joshua Wolf Shenk looks at how creative intimacy unfolds in his book Powers of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs (interview). TTBOOK. Steal Like an Artist A. Kleon. Overheard on the Titanic poem.

The 21st Century Skills Movement seeks to reform education to better prepare students for success in the modern workplace. Those skills include creativity, innovation, critical thinking, communication and collaboration. KQED Forum 132/10

'Geography Of Genius' , Eric Weiner, explores How Surroundings Influence Ideas (audio interview), NYT review, actual maps.


Finding Your Path

Barbara Sher helps people identify and follow their dreams. Wishcraft is online for free. TEDx ; She has made several very fine PBS programs sample. ***

The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Sir Ken Robinson, McHenry Stacks BF637.S4 R592 2009 (11 min. video summary), see video above (35 min video). *** Also Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative.

How to Find Your Bliss: Joseph Campbell on What It Takes to Have a Fulfilling Life 4/15.

"Do What You Love" — The Dangerous Work Mantra of Our Time 1/14.

Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life by Gregg Michael Levoy.

The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution 2014 by Walter Isaacson (also bios on Franklin and Steve Jobs (video talk). He dispels lone genius myth, highly recommended ***

How To Live Your Dream of Volunteering Overseas .


Steven Johnson shows how history tells a different story. His fascinating tour takes us from the "liquid networks" of London's coffee houses to Charles Darwin's long, slow hunch to today's high-velocity web. TEDtalk. 4 min summary of book ideas. summary of Where Good Ideas Come From. New PBS series We Got to Now, companion book highly recommended *** See Networks.

Twyla Tharp :The Creative Habit: Learn it and use it for Life: A Practical Guide Simon and Schuster 2003 NY McHenry BF408 .T415 2003sumary notes.

Joshua Wolf Shenk looks at how creative intimacy unfolds in his book Powers of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs (audio interview). TTBOOK.

Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure. Tim Harford three principles/examples (video) Economics writer Tim Harford studies complex systems -- and finds a surprising link among the successful ones: they were built through trial and error. (TEDtalk). Audio interview.

How writing improves creativity

Roger von Oech is a very good writer of popular books on creativity. Explorer, Artist, Judge, Warrior: Merriam-Webster defines serendipity as the “faculty of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.” ***

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is the smartest researcher on creativity. His best known work is Flow. here's TEDtalk video on Flow ***

CURIOUS MINDS: HOW A CHILD BECOMES A SCIENTIST, alt link,Gggle books by John Brockman where the digerati hang out.

Julia Cameron: The Artist's Way (1992). It's not about how to paint or write or dance -- it's about how to nurture the part of you that's afraid to paint or write or dance. Cameron's pathway to creativity is through health and fulfillment, not purgatorial pain. Brenda Ueland: If You Want to Write (1938). Shining with the visionary high-mindedness of the old American avant-garde, this classic on unblocking your inner writer recommends watchful laziness, cheerful egotism, and flat-out joy.

Ainissa Ramirez, in her recent TED Book, Save Our Science: How to Inspire a New Generation of Scientists, makes an impassioned call for a recommitment to improve science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in our schools and throughout our society. The post below is an excerpt from the book's Introduction... "Now imagine that knowledge is a multisided box. When we teach children to simply memorize material so they can pass tests, we give children access to the knowledge on only one side of the box. So when life tosses this box up (as it certainly will), it may not land on a side that is visible and accessible. In this case, the kids don’t have access to the knowledge.

The end-result answers are not the only things that kids need to know. They need to learn to navigate the course of acquiring knowledge—essentially, to get to the answers by being curious and coming up with a lot of questions, a lot of whys. They need to get accustomed to learning from different directions, playing with concepts, and figuring out how to ask the whys in order to gain access to knowledge. This process is more important than having the knowledge itself, and it is why we must step away from memorization and get back to figuring things out in a variety of ways. This is one of the most important skills of the 21st century. My training as a scientist allows me to stare at an unknown and not run away, because I learned that this melding of uncertainty and curiosity is where innovation and creativity occur. Science has taught me the power of persistence and patience, and also has shown me that failure is a friend. My curiosity fuels and motivates me more than any shiny bobble could, and my ability to understand and think gives me a love and admiration for the planet matched only by my esteem for artists and saints..." More (short video on nano-materials).

Eric Kandel, author of The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind and Brain, points to the work of the psychologist Jonathan Schooler, who has studied the history of "letting the mind wander." Schooler argues that big ideas "seem to come not when people are hard at work on a problem, but when they are sidetracked: going for a walk, taking a shower, thinking about something else." (short video).

Sam McNerny on creativity: Here’s the important part. If creativity is the ability to connect two unrelated ideas to produce a novel idea with use then we should strive to be what I term “epistemic chameleons.” An epistemic chameleon is an academic version of the most interesting man in the world (the one from the Dos Equis commercials). He shifts from one domain to another seamlessly and is good at applying what he learned in a textbook to the real world and vice versa despite the subject matter.

'Geography Of Genius' , Eric Weiner, explores How Surroundings Influence Ideas (audio interview), NYT review, actual maps.

General Ideas on Design and Creativity

(see also Sustainability

Infographic on creative process and innovation.

A 5-Step Technique for Producing Ideas circa 1939.

10 Steps to Creativity and Boosting Intuitive Awareness from BigThink.

Famous Writers on the Creative Benefits of Keeping a Diary

Gamestorming is a technique of using game dynamics (role-playing0 and visual thinking to create new ideas. Website. book, More, including visual notetaking. UCSC owns an electronic copy (available to campus only).

Game technique Shimpei Takahashi always dreamed of designing toys. But when he started work as a toy developer, he found that the pressure to use data as a starting point for design quashed his creativity. In this short, funny talk, Takahashi describes how he got his ideas flowing again, and shares a simple game anyone can play to generate new ideas. (In Japanese with English subtitles.) TEDtalk.

Steven Johnson’s new book, Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, his TEDtalk video. Highly recommended*** summary.

Johnson corroborated: 3 Dangerous Myths about Innovators and Creators by Tim Sanders (BigThink video).

UC alum Dan Roam (fine art and biology) contends that these skills are needed more than ever in business and politics. Creativity under constraint, sound judgment in uncertain environments, rigorous thinking amid complex ideas -- these are the skills taught by the arts. Dan runs a management-consulting firm that uses visual thinking to solve complex problems. Saving the World with Art (video). Napkin Academy videos. Pattern recognition.

Concept maps help visual thinking and collaboration. Theory. Learning How to Learn. The best collaborative tools are made by Simon Shum such as Compendium

John Cleese of Monty Python on creativity (video).

Jonah Lehrer's apparently plagiarized, so read at own risk new book (review and trailer), Imagine: How Creativity Works, audio interview and excerpt (full text interview) podcast

IDEO, the hottest design firm around, has a Social Impact design group that has created a free downloadable Human Centered Design Toolkit, a free innovation guide for NGOs and Social Enterprises. You can search their projects. Method cards/app. Examples: clean water and hearing aid (video). As a creative director at Ideo, Paul Bennett reminds us that design need not invoke grand gestures or sweeping statements to be successful, but instead can focus on the little things in life. TEDtalk video. IDEO's Tim Brown on creativity and play (TEDtalk video). TEDxSanJoseCA - Chris Waugh - Can we Use Design to Make Life More Interesting?.

One of the greatest musicians/producers around Brian Eno, developed Oblique Strategies, a set of cards to jumpstart ideas. He is also one of the driving forces behind the LongNow ten thousand year clock.LongNow

How to Develop a Subversive Mindset, useful for creativity (see below).

Fritjof Capra outlines the lessons about creativity we can learn from Leonardo da Vinci's scientific approach. "In my view, what we need today [facing unprecedented environmental and social justice challenges] is exactly the kind of science that Leonardo da Vinci outlined 500 years ago." Capra, Ph.D., physicist and systems theorist, is a founding director of the Center for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley, California.

Seven Tools for Thinking, edited extract from Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking by Daniel Dennett. alt link.

Bruce Mau has been inspired by nature, wants to redesign the world, and he may well rock yours. Another profile Interactive version of his "An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth" Here's a text excerpt. Here's a downloadable complete version. Video compilation. Longer interview.

The Creative Sympathies of Art and Science: Alan Lightman on What the Exhilarating Mystery of Creative Breakthrough Feels Like (Brainpickings).


Linda Hill: How to manage for collective creativity studied Pixar. No aha or lone genius.

Yves Behar has produced some of the new millennium's most coveted objects, like the Leaf lamp, the Jawbone headset, and the XO laptop for One Laptop per Child. (TEDtalk video).

Carlton Cuse: 6 TEDtalks that help me create: "These talks have inspired me to create, in my writing or in my life," says Carlton Cuse, screenwriter and producer of Bates Motel and Lost. "These speakers have 'passionate optimism' -- that inner drive that allows us to risk truly expressing ourselves.

Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses -- and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person "being" a genius, all of us "have" a genius. (TEDtalk video).

Dean Kamen, inventor of Segway, speaks about creation of prosthetic limbs. TEDtalk video. He has also created an amazing power source and water distiller for Third World countries TEDtalk video.

Tony Award winner Julie Taymor (The Lion King) asks the question, “Why do we do what we do?” Taymor proposes ways to answer this lifelong question through the story that inspired her work on The Lion King. Through anecdotes both historic and personal, she illustrates the power of presentation, and explains how and why innovation requires focus, sweat, and a new perspective. (video)

Murray Gell-mann on where ideas come from Google talk (video) 2012.

Inspired By Nature

Climbing devices based on geckos

Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature by Janine M. Benyus TEDtalk video.

"Captain Organic," Ross Lovegrove embraces nature as the inspiration for his "fat-free" design. TEDtalk video

More TEDtalks on this theme.

Free Online Courses

Creativity, Innovation, and Change

Big Think: The seven essential life skills: Focus and Self-Control, Perspective Taking, Communicating, Making Connections, Critical Thinking, Taking on Challenges, Self-Directed, Engaged Learning. (not an endorsement: tell us what you think).

How to Develop a Subversive Mindset: The Five Rules of Experimental Philosophy How to ask naïve questions:

-How to invert perceptions

-How to combine incompatible systems

-How to remix metaphors

-How to pursue paradox

Stanford Seminar on People, Computers, and Design (CS547) video Exmple: April 23, 2010 Ed Catmull, President, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios: Recognizing and Addressing Blocks to Creativity.