Creativity will set us free

Ponder this: could our education system be responsible for our breaking health care system?  Could a flat ignorance of creativity be part of the reason we can’t seem to make necessary changes to embrace sustainable health care?  Increasingly the answer is looking like yes.

Dan Pink posted his commencement speech at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design on his Johnny Bunko website.

The entire speech is worth watching (and the Bunko book worth purchasing), but I’ll extract a quote here for use in relating to health care:

“The abilities that now matter most in a very, very hard headed way are really the right brain ones.  Artistry. Empathy. Inventiveness. Big picture thinking.”

Part One:


Part Two:


Sir Ken Robinson proposed the question, “Do schools kill creativity?” at Ted 2006.  His ideas inspire a new approach to education.  He says that creativity is as important in education as literacy.

“I have a big interest in education, I think we all do.  We have a huge vested interest in it.  Partly because it’s education that’s meant to take us into this future we can’t grasp.  If you think of it, children starting school this year will be retiring in 2065.  Nobody has a clue, despite all the expertise that has been on parade for the past four days, what the world will look like in five years time and yet we’re meant to be educating for it.”

The creativity necessary to fix health care in this country is increasing with each passing day.  While the major problems we are trying to solve will likely remain the same in root cause, the iteration of those issues will be very different.  Preparing students for the problems of tomorrow is a challenge—it is difficult to foretell what those problems will look like.  That’s where creativity comes in: we must not strip students of their creative abilities.  In fact, we must nurture them.

We live in a problem-solving society.  I’ve no doubt that we’ll get to where we need to get at some point.  However, improving our educational focus on creativity (at all levels) would expedite the process.

The solution just may be of the grassroots variety.  Read this post.  Jen and Ted and Berci think medical education needs some re-engineering.  As Jen writes:

If we’re working towards a more consumer-centric, patient-directed system, the educational component of such a revision must not be neglected.

And med students desperately need this kind of information and training included in curricula, NOW. As in next semester. As in 2 months from TODAY.

Not 3 years from now after lengthy Board meetings, celebratory approval, news releases, additional tenure-track positions secured and outside consulting agencies engaged.

This group’s creative thinking is moving the agenda forward.  Thankfully.  We just need more of it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s