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Iowa Creativity Summit to be hosted at Drake

Everyone expresses their creativity in different ways. Some write, others draw and some people think of really cool ways to make other people want to buy things. Creativity does not just apply to marketers and designers. The Iowa Creativity Summit coming to Drake University next Thursday encourages people of all professions and skill levels to attend. It will begin at 5:15 p.m. in Parent’s Hall in Upper Olmsted.

The summit is a first-time experiment directed by Justin Brady of Testoftime.com.

“We want to do something to highlight creativity in and of itself,” said Brady.

Best-selling author Matthew E. May will lead back-to-back 90-minute workshops modeled after his experiences at Stanford University’s School of Design. Brady said that May was selected because of his “unique perspective” on creativity.

“He (May) never looks at a problem and says, ‘how can I fix this?” said Brady. “And, instead, he asks why it’s a problem in the first place. He looks at things of a whole.”

Although being held at Drake, the event is open to the public. Leaders and learners in all professions are encouraged to come. The Summit helps to encourage the creativity in all people.

“Even in a job like accounting, you can still be creative in that atmosphere,” Brady said.

Senior Tom Lehn, a law, politics and society, history and rhetoric double major, said that he found that being creative is key to any type of leadership role, regardless of the circumstance.

“You need to be able to express what your goals are,” said Lehn, “and take into account how people have a variety of personalities.”

Lehn and Brady both agreed that elementary to college schooling discourages the creativity out of students.

“Life has more answers than just ‘A,’ ‘B,’ ‘C,’ ‘D’ and ‘F,’” said Lehn.

In its first year, the program primarily has relied on word of mouth and sponsors. Brady said that he understands that nothing like this has ever been done before, and people may be unsure of what the event will bring.

“It’s a workshop, not a lecture,” said Brady. “I’ts hands-on, and that makes some people uncomfortable, so it’s risky.”

Drake, however, felt it was worth the risk and was the first to offer sponsorship for the event. That played a huge role in why the location takes place on campus.

“Drake understands where things are heading and targets the 21st-century, right-brain students,” Brady said.

Lehn could be considered one of those 21st-century, right-brain students. Even through four years of leadership in classes and different organizations, Lehn recognizes that he can always improve his skills.

“Seeing how other people can conquer objects or create enables you to be creative,” said Lehn. “It takes a whole mess of people trying to figure it out to come up with something.”

Online registration for the workshop ends next Monday. The registration fee is $35 online and $50 at the door. It includes dinner, dessert, two workshops, a name badge and an 80-page custom slim notebook. Registration can be done on the event’s website at http://www.iowacreativitysummit.com/.


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