Authentic voice in the world at large is difficult to find these days.
The birth of fake news and the polarization of politics and social issues certainly haven’t helped.
Plus, the complete dismissing of dissident opinions and inconvenient truths have only worsened the situation.
Some could argue that some of these very factors played a role in our facing this current pandemic. Whatever the case, it’s clear that things need to change.
It’s crucial that we make space for creativity and artistic outlets. Because if we’re going to survive as a human race, the future needs creative thinkers.
Creativity Is NOT a Pastime
Creativity and the arts are often regarded as a superficial decorative element. They are the candy coating for more “important” social, economic, and political issues.
In other words, society is remiss in seeing the arts and creativity as an essential component of the bigger picture.
But arts and creativity are intimately linked to our ability to solve problems, express ourselves, and achieve personal fulfillment. In fact, the ability to think critically is a fundamental building block for society’s social, economic, and political success.
So why do the arts continue to take a backseat?
The Tech Take-over
Technology gets top billing. And it’s everywhere. There’s no arguing that it’s making our lives easier.
Yet with each advancement, there’s a lot of talk about humans losing their jobs to automation. And the truth is, a computer can more easily (and affordably) perform work that once required humans.
For example, some jobs in the manufacturing sector are slowly getting phased out as computers perform them more efficiently. And in the finance industry, there’s the ultimate example of automation – the ATM.
Since technology only continues to advance, the big question is – what will be an important and coveted skill of the future that can’t be performed by a robot?
The answer? Creative thinking.
A Computer Lacks Imagination
The interconnected systems we use to function in business and society have become increasingly complex. So too are the types of issues and challenges that arise from them.
A computer cannot solve these complex challenges. It’s simply not relevant to approach them in a rote or purely linear fashion. And as old-school procedural thinking wanes, the need for creative thinking continues to grow by leaps and bounds.
When it comes to business and technology, there’s an increased demand for a forward-thinking approach. And the most effective work is executed by those who know how to think outside of the box.
The ingenuity of creative thinkers who have had to develop innovative solutions during this challenging pandemic bears this out.
The Future Needs Creative Thinkers
So how can we, as a society, continue to plug ahead when we’re faced with so many seemingly insurmountable challenges?
By softening (but not eliminating) the laser focus on the all-important STEM subjects and fostering creativity in our educational system.
There is a huge emphasis on critical thinking in art education. And it requires a high level of human creativity.
Every arts academy high school is fertile ground for this sort of “life training,” as it were. It is in these institutions where educators tend to the natural qualities of creative thinkers so they can flourish and bloom.
Among those qualities are the following:
1. Taking Risks
Artists and creative thinkers are inclined to take risks.
Some of this comes from having to put themselves out there on a regular basis. When their work is routinely subjected to critiques from fellow artists and the public, they learn the value of trying many solutions.
An important lesson that comes from this is how often innovation can be the result of a happy accident.
2. Making Connections Not Obvious to Others
In addition to taking risks, creative thinkers naturally make connections between seemingly disparate ideas.
While artists must learn the fundamentals of their craft, they aren’t regularly subjected to rules beyond that. They are required to think on a meta-level.
Therefore, they can more easily draw parallels that others can easily miss. From these connections, they can develop innovative solutions.
3. Comfort with Complexity
As we mentioned above, creative thinkers have to be able to see things on the big-picture level. Yet, they must also be able to focus on the smallest of details.
Mastering this range of skills enables them to lead when it comes to navigating systems with a great deal of complexity.
The creative thinker can handle ambiguity and the abstract. In fact, it’s often where he or she thrives.
4. A Motivation to Understand
It’s one thing to solve a problem on a practical level. It’s another to know why the problem needs to be solved.
Creative thinkers are motivated by understanding the why. They strive to accurately define the problem, as well as why it needs solving.
This approach requires a deeper comprehension of the situation at hand.
5. Willingness to Quickly Adapt
Creative thinkers don’t rely on precedence.
They don’t seek guidance from the status quo, rule books, or current trends.
In developing solutions, they’re not only able to quickly synthesize the information but are actually eager to adapt their creative process in solving the problem.
6. Creating a Powerful Narrative
Those inclined toward the arts and creativity aren’t afraid to capitalize on the fact that humans value meaning over data.
Part of the way they do this is through storytelling. Creating a powerful narrative enables them to make connections with people and generate enthusiasm for innovation.
Sharing their stories generates the empathy and collaborative commitment that both individuals and teams need to tackle new challenges.
It Is Clear That the Future Needs Creative Thinkers
We don’t want to dwell on the pandemic that’s currently gripping the planet. But it does seem to be a call to action.
As we continue to move forward, there will be an increased need to solve unscripted and open-ended problems across multiple disciplines.
Solutions will require divergent thinking that generates many ideas with an experimental approach. Thus, the future needs creative thinkers who can do just that.
If you think your creative child could be one of those future problem solvers, then help him or her build the necessary foundation by attending an arts academy middle school/high school.
Contact us today to set up a tour of our school. And prepare your child for a future of innovation and possibility.