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Well-being, Community, Education

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  • Orange_building_132_

    Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book Flow, a revolutionary and magically insightful book about work and happiness, writes:

    "It is by becoming increasingly complex that the self might be said to grow. Complexity is the result of two braod psychological processes: differentiation and integration. Differentiation implies a movement toward uniqueness, toward separating oneself from others. Integration refers to its opposite: a union with other people, with ideas and entities beyond the self. A complex self is one that succeeds in combining these opposite tendancies."

  • Istock_puddle_splash_132_

    "Being right is based on knowledge and experience is often provable.

    Knowledge comes from the past, so it's safe. It is also out of date. It's the opposite of originality.

    Experience is built from solutions to old situations and problems. The old situations are probably different from the present ones, so that the old solutions will have to be bent to fit new problems (and possibly fit badly). Also the likelihood is that, if you've got the expereince, you'll probably use it.

    This is lazy.

    Experience is the opposite of being creative. If you can prove you're right, you're set in concrete. You cannot move with the times or with other people.

    Being right is also being boring. Your mind is closed. You are not open to new ideas. You are rooted in your own rightness, which is arrogant. Arrogance is a valuable tool, but only if used very sparingly.

    Worst of all, being right has a tone of morality about it. To be anything else sounds weak or fallible, and people who are right would hate to be thought fallible.

    So: it's wrong to be right, because people who are right are rooted in the past, rigid-minded, dull and smug.

    There's no talking to them."

  • Dreams for young people

    Arts & Culture

    The Dream World Programme started with the desire to make the dreams of children around the world come true.

    In 2003, UNESCO and Felissimo launched the DREAM World Institute Programme which aims to offer art programmes (visual arts, dance, music, words and other forms of creative expressions) to children in developing countries who otherwise may not have the opportunities to learn arts and to develop and appreciate their own creativity.

    Art encourages curiosity. Reading is included in the programme so that the curiosity can be led to poetry, literature and history behind arts, music and dance. Gaining new knowledge and inspiration, learning the rewards of discipline, and learning how to express their creativity will give children the best tool for dreaming for the future.

    The DREAM World Institute has a dream of its own. It is that no matter how small the programme might start, children's eyes will always be open to a bigger world.

    There are Dream Centres in Cambodia, Afganistan and Haiti.

    Contact: Indrasen Vencatachellum -

  • Istock_glasses_177_

    Sir Ken Robinson wrote in Out of Our Minds "We have jeopardised the balance of human nature by not recognising how different elements of our abilities sustain and enrich each other . . . we must learn to be creative"

    This quote from Charles Darwin's autobiography quoted in Small is Beautiful by E Schumacher (1973)p80 'Up to the age of thirty, or beyond it poetry of many kinds . . gave me great pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare, especially in the historical plays. I have also said that formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very great, delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me. I have also lost almost any taste for pictures or music . . My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of fact, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive . . The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature'

  • Brainstorming_177_

    Vincent Nolan is an extraordinary and infectiously enthusiastic man who was Chairman of Synectics, the international creativity and innovation consultancy. Since retiring Vincent has focused on introducing business creativity methods into education through the Registered Charity, Synectics Education Initiative (SEI) Vincent is writing Thriving an article on the links between emotional intelligence and creativity. Below a sneak preview from the draft:

    "From the point of view of Emotional Intelligence, the most interesting aspect of brainstorming is that the simple expedient of outlawing judgement (whether positive or negative) creates an emotionally safe environment which releases ideas. The ideas were presumably in the heads of the people involved, but not expressed before the brainstorming session. It raises the question “what else do people suppress, as well as ideas, for fear of a negative reaction?”

    Brainstorming for collective and individual ideas is such an exciting process in an emotionally safe, trusting and non-competitive environment. Do you have a room in your school filled with visual and art materials for bringing ideas to life?

    Thriving looks forward to drawing on Synectics as a tool for promoting communication and creativity skills in education . . . in science, art, maths, drama, biology, geography, PSHE, music, history, creative writing, IT, graphics, student voice. . . . . . . :-) <a href="

  • The Happiness Foundation

    Peace, Communication Design


    "Happy people appear to be more concerned with social problems and to be more apt to do something about that. There is also evidence that happiness activates and that it encourages social involvement. . . .unhappiness leads to withdrawal mostly, while happiness fuels openness and involvement. Happiness works as a ‘go signal’." The Happiness Foundation is an organisation which provides pro-bono consulting services to non-profit organizations, helping them achieve their full potential. Uniquely, the organization works as a matchmaker between Volunteer Consultants and charitable projects.

    As their website says "We breathe life into organizations that have the desire and the potential to improve the lives of people in need.. . . Happiness breeds happiness. And the more happiness there is in the world, the less we have to worry about the threat of war, disease and economic hardship."

  • Diversity

    Community, Communication Design

    <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></a> "Diversity…is not casual liberal tolerance of anything not yourself. It is not polite accommodation. Instead, diversity is, in action, the sometimes painful awareness that other people, other races, other voices, other habits of mind have as much integrity of being, as much claim on the world as you do… And I urge you, amid all the differences present to the eye and mind, to reach out to create the bond that…will protect us all. We are all meant to be here together." William M. Chase, "The Language of Action"

  • We Are What We Do

    Environment, Communication Design

    <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></a> We Are What We Do is a movement founded by David Robinson designed to inspire people to use their everyday actions to change the world. Their website is fantastic, a great resource for schools . . . and everyone else too. In fact there is nothing they are doing that we don't think is fantastic. :-) The level of public involvment is so high that 787,180 actions have been completed through the website. What we like about the list of actions is that they include not only environmentally friendly actions such as refusing plastic bags, recycling paper and ink cartridges, but also people friendly actions such as 'Praise People', 'Don't be an ideas killer' and "Don’t judge someone by the job they do' . . . .

Thriving is a creative educational platform for innovative people, ideas and practice

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Moderator: Tessy Britton