Welcome to February and #CMDIVERGENT

Richie Nainaney is our speaker this month.


We are creatures of ideas.

by Randah Taher

We pride ourselves with knowing how to think differently and how to solve problems in different directions.** **

By our very nature, we are divergent.

Like many of you, I’m a highly kinetic learning. 

We seek constant stimuli. We get our knowledge from things we see, hear, touch, feel, taste, or experience. We’re constantly bringing in information for our brain neurons to sort out, decide what to keep in our short-term memory and what to archive. For some, this is a thriving environment and cities cannot have enough of them. For others, it becomes overwhelming at best. 

This is the first part of embracing being “divergent”. In your world, how many sources bring in the knowledge you seek and the experiences you enjoy every day?

The second part of being divergent is on the other side of thinking, when you’re ready to provide a solution to one of those problems you face.

When in that thought process, we generate ideas that go well beyond the scope at hand. We associate ideas with other topics. We create analogies. We power up our imagination. We basically generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions. This mode typically occurs in a spontaneous “non-linear” manner that makes it possible to have many possible solutions in a short amount of time. 

If we pay close attention, we get to hold still a bit longer than the “regular” non-divergent people. We don’t stop at the first good-enough idea. We continue until our brain is forced to build on previously half-cooked ideas and we finally see the unseen.

Research in the creativity field did not let this magic trick go unnoticed and wanted to test it. The most widely administered test of divergent thinking and other problem-solving skills is the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking developed by E. Paul Torrance in the late 1950s. The Torrance test includes both verbal and figural tests that require people to generate multiple possibilities (“How many uses are there for bubble gum?”), and imagine the consequences of unimaginable events happening (“What would happen if people could become invisible at will?”). 

Originally designed to score on four scales. These are:

·       Fluency. The total number of interpretable, meaningful, and relevant ideas generated in response to the stimulus.

·       Flexibility. The number of different categories of relevant responses.

·       Originality. The statistical rarity of the responses.

·       Elaboration. The amount of detail in the responses.

I’m curious, how do you think you will score on all four?   image


Here is the link to the monthly playlist curated by Bhavika.

Radical becomes the new normal.

By James Piecowye

I have been thinking a lot lately about when it was that the idea of being, doing or even thinking in a radical way went from being the exception to being the norm.

My knee-jerk reaction was to think that this transformation of the idea of radical from the exception to a more normal way of existing has to be Covid-19 driven.  For sure the global pandemic has woken us up to thinking and acting differently from the way we socialise to the way we go about learning, even our CreativeMornings events have become virtual, a radical change. 

Among the many things the pandemic has done it has also give us permission to get out of our social, political and economic ruts.  

Not only have we been given permission to dream up better ways to do things but we have also been given permission to rapidly prototype pretty much everything we do, now, immediately, ready or not.

Lately, I have been watching a lot of TEDTalks and I find myself looking at the dates of the talks and what I have realised is that radical ideas have been circling us forever and only when we are in a ready state of mind, when we feel we have been given permission to receive them, do we start to see the radical around us. These radical manifestations I am talking about can be simple tweaks to our lives or complex reengineering of things.  

Here are 4 examples from thousands that exemplify what I am talking about.

Elizabeth Gilbert talks about her genius and trusting yourself to keep doing your job even when it feels hopeless ( Matt Cutts talks about challenging yourself just because ( Mark Bezos talks about doing that little act of kindness because you can ( Stacey Kramer talks about the good that can come from a bad situation (  Each one of these talks takes a basic idea and radicalises it and in the process of doing that gives us permission to think about ourselves and our own radical activation.

We are constantly bumping up against the ideas and manifestations of radical but we often don’t see them because in a crazy twist of fate we are caught in the slipstream of the ‘that is the way it is done’  frame of mind.

When we are given permission to see the alternative, the different, the radical, we embrace it. 

Not convinced? Stick with me.

When you lose your job you start considering all the things you do and which of these things can you turn into your new gig.  When you move into a new place you see the space as a new opportunity to live differently and try different things.  When you go on vacation you reorganise your time, embrace randomness and spontaneity which is the opposite of our scheduled days at work or school.  

Each of these situations is an invitation to embrace the radical and each of them only becomes possible when you have been given permission.

Today we have been given permission to embrace the radical within us and around us and frankly, it is a little scary. But, what is also becoming very clear is that we have always had radical inclinations, we have simply not felt that we have been given permission to act on them.

Covid-19 and the global pandemic it has unleashed is having a devastating impact on humanity without question.  But one glimmer of hope from this pandemic is that we no longer need permission to think or be radical in our ideas and actions and as scary as this might seem it is the new normal. 

A huge thank you to Nada Badran for her fantastic talk on the theme of TRANSIT at CM_Dubai #58!

The podcast of the talk is now streaming so if you missed it grab your device and get ready for an incredible talk… if you joined us and want more dive in!

Thanks to our great team of volunteers Kat, Randah, Swati, Bhavika, Michael and of course Richard who works day and night to create our epic graphics!

Thanks @2ndlightphotography for the graphics magic.

We had a wonderful morning with Dr. Upasana Gala @evolvebraintraining, WOW, that is the only word to describe the start to the day we had.

Want to relive the morning or catch up on what you missed we have you covered with a podcast and a Youtube video!

And you can click on the link to head to the podcast, we promise you will not be dissapointed!

We are back October 26th with TRANSIT and @wanderwithnada

The team in Dubai is back and we are going to bring you simply the most invigorating hour of creative conversation you have had this month on the 28th!

Get on our list to join us on the 28th, space is really limited.

To help get you into the CreativeMornings Dubai frma of mind here is the monthly Dubai, themed playlist!

Here is the link to the Spotify page.

Thanks Bhavika for the tunes and Richard  @2ndlightphotography for the graphics!