We want to thank all the participant of our two workshops at this year´s Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. For everybody who had not the chance to be part of these two sessions, with almost 100 inspiring individuals from all over the world, we would like to share the transcript of Leonard Sommer´s key note. You´ll find the presentation on Slideshare, soon.
„Welcome to our Cannes Lions Classroom Think Tank´ Workshop. Thank you very much for being here. My name is Leonard Sommer – I am the Right Hemisphere and Co-founder of the creative agency SOMMER+SOMMER.
Like most right brainers, I had a hard time in the classroom – being always pushed to conformity. For my brother Gordon Sommer – he is a left brained thinker – it had been a little easier.
Two years ago SOMMER+SOMMER started this initiative within the work for my EMBA master´s thesis at The Berlin School of Creative Leadership.
Assuming the whole education system will need to make a radical transition in many countries around the world, we asked more than 100 creative leaders to inspire an innovative model for 21st century education.
Let me tell you shortly what we want to do during the next hour.
First you´ll get some background information about why this mission is so important, especially for our industry. After that we will have a look on our research. Finally your group will develop ideas to inspire this initiative.
The following questions may help your team to be focused:
1. What would you change in schools with the aim of fostering creativity?
2. How would you like to foster creativity in your team, agency or organization.
3. How could creativity be promoted in children´s education?
„No one knows what the future really is gonna be like? The rise of information and communication technologies is dramatically altering how society works and how global cultures interact. Today´s children will become adults who engage in a world vastly different from what we know today. Who need to solve problems beyond her current understanding, using skill sets, that are yet to be defined, with tools, that are yet to be created. How do you prepare a child … for that?“ (1)
Let´s start with an assignment:
Could anybody in class tell me, who these three little classmates are?
(…) Indeed. Henry Ford, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. (…)
… three outstandingly talented entrepreneurs that had a groundbreaking effect on their respective economic age. Isn`t it clear that different skills were required in the industrial, information and conceptual age? But … all these leaders shared the same education model?
Bizarre. The principles and the culture of today´s education model are still a relict of the era of industrialization! That means: we still educate with a school system from the 19th century, create to set-up the managerial skills needed for rapid economic modernization in the industrial age.
How can an education system, invented for the era of the steam engine, still be of use for the Conceptual Age?”
“One of the dilemmas with 20th century education is, children are taugh what to learn – and not how to learn. And they are slowly educated out of their curiosity and creativity.” (2)
David Perkins (Senior Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education):
“I think, that we need to think in terms of education for the unknown.
For what might come up – for large understandings, that help us code the unexpected as well as the expected. For me, about 90% of what we teach probably constitutes particular nuggets of knowledge that those kids would never encounter again in a significant way in their lives. It just doesn’t matter! That is completely bizarre. We simply need to do better than that.”
Dr. Kirpal Sign (Associate Professor, Singapore Management University)
We are all education people either for yesterday – 80 percent of us – another 18 percent are people either educating for today, but very few of us are looking at tomorrow. Because looking at tomorrow means you need to be creative, you need to use your imagination, you need to be able to take … riks. And say: I think, tomorrow it is gonna be like this…“
„Do schools really „kill“ creativity? What do you think?
Let´s look at some research.
SOMMER+SOMMER invited more than 35 million people from 205 countries to put their brains to an online braintest. The purpose? To gain insight into whether our planet is dominated by left-brained or right-brained thinkers. The study confirmed what we had already suspected. Our brain test project showed: only 27% are right-brained and 41% are left-brained (results please refer to: http://bit.ly/1pULKHM) (3)
Let´s now take a look at children´s creativity.
Already in 1968 – George Land and Beth Jarman tested 1,600 children with the famous NASA genius test. They were given eight tests of divergent thinking abilities.
• Ages 3-5 years, 98% scored in the creative genius category
• Five years later, after starting in school, 32% scored in this category.
• Ten years later, … only 10%.
For a better understanding: what needs to be changed – we asked more than 550 people from all over the world: How is creativity suppressed in today´s schools?
Think positive now. What did the probands say:
How can creativity be fostered?
“How can an education system designed for the Industrial Age still be relevant in the 21st century? Let’s take a look at some numbers…
• 65% of today’s preschoolers will grow up to work in jobs that don’t yet exist “
• 60% of managers see creativity as tomorrow’s most important skill(7)
• But 85% believe that creativity is suppressed in schools?(8)“
Come to inspire a vision of schools that foster creativity…
…with room for children’s minds to develop outside-of-the-box thinking.”
…with teachers, who guide creativity instead of conformity.”
…with lessons, that prepare them for the unexpected, as well as the expected. We want to know: What could the education system learn from the creative industry?”
„Overall SOMMER+SOMMER asked more than 100 creative leaders in 35 countries to help develop a vision for schools that foster creativity. After our reserach, we had 89 relevant inspirations.
Analyzing all the ideas and inputs of our reserach, we realized, that all ideas had been build on 5 building blocks
• ORGANIZATONAL DESIGN
• LEARNING CULTURE
• TEACHER´S ROLE
• LEARNING METHODS
Unfortunately I can´t introduce to you all those ideas. But I would like to present one out of all ideas, and at the same time introduce the organizational design of a school model, that – from our point of view – might be a pretty relevant solution.
Our inspiration comes from Google. Their 70/20/10 Model is a business resource management model pioneered by the former CEO Eric Schmidt and articulated about Google in 2005.
The original 70/20/10 Business Resource Management Model makes time for creativity a fixed part of the schedule and serves to cultivate innovation.
It dictates to divide employee resources as follows:
• 70% of work time is dedicated to complete tasks related to the company’s core business
• 20% of work time can be spent on expanding the core business in an alternative way.
• 10% of work time can be spent developing innovative ideas and projects unrelated to core business. – and therefore thinking outside the box (10).
Our plan: SOMMER+SOMMER recommends to transfer this model to children´s education. (…) Et voilà: our concept for a “Learning Resource Management Model” that makes time for creative thinking in secondary schools.
• KNOW-WHAT: 50% of the students time will be spent on teaching knowledge.
• KNOW-HOW: 30% of the time will be used for the practical application of knowledge.
• TALENT-TO-KNOW: 20% of school-time will be used to foster individual talents.
I want to talk a bit more about the 3 elements of this model …
Creativity needs to rest on a strong basis of knowledge, one that is able to inspire every individual and on which a team can build its unique ideas.
In our model in 50% of all lessons, basic knowledge is conveyed, analyzed and discussed in the group using specific and contemporary case studies.
30% of all lessons allow pupils to creatively apply their knowledge in a group, working together towards a goal.
This school time also has a special function: it offers children a menu of possibilities early on – maybe one loves computer science, the other biology, art, whatever –
a spectrum of potential passions could be discovered.
20% of school time is available to find your “thing”, your passion that doesn’t feel like work – the activity that just feels like fun. This encourages children and motivates them to practice and to get on with their passion – so they can achieve excellence, because they found their unique talent.
Now let´s get active!
I want you to work in groups. Every group chooses ONE question to work on. You have 20 minutes for your inspirations and after that each group has a few minutes to present the idea. Let´s start. I can´t wait to hear your ideas.
One thing: If we are running out of time, please make sure, that the group fills in the idea in our online survey
>>> GROUPWORK (20 min)
“Which group wants to start with its idea? Please let us know which question you worked on and how your team wants to inspire 21st century education.”
>>> PRESENTATION OF IDEAS (ideas will be presented seperately)
„Thank you very much to each one of you. We are really appreciating your time and your brainpower at this experiment. Please leave your e-mail adress on the form, so that we can share the results with you.
Here´s the adress for any more ideas, questions or whatever is on your mind. Please follow the Classroom Think Tank on Facebook or the blog, if you want to be updated.
We would be extremely happy, if all journalists who are here will share the results or publish a link to our opinion-survey (http://thinktank.sommer-sommer.com/simple/
If you have any questions – please do not hesitate to write me an e-mail, if you are interested to have exclusive material for your media. A press kit with the most relevant ideas will be available after the festival-week.
More about the speaker:
LEONARD SOMMER | RIGHT HEMISPHERE (CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER), SOMMER+SOMMER
Leonard Sommer studied Communication Design in Florence, Italy. He holds an Executive MBA in Creative Leadership from the Berlin School of Creative Leadership. Leonard is Managing Partner of the communication agency SOMMER+SOMMER based in Stuttgart (Germany). The boutique ad agency SOMMER+SOMMER became popular with their global brain study that recently, went viral globally to more than 55 million people and yields some insight on global creativity as well as viral marketing (en.sommer-sommer.com/braintest).
(1) 21st Foundation, Patrick Newell
(2) 21st Foundation, Patrick Newell
(3) 2014 Sommer+Sommer, Braintest en.sommer-sommer.com/braintest)
(4) 1968 Breakpoint and Beyond by George Land and Beth Jarman
(5) 2013, SOMMER+SOMMER using Kwiksurveys, n=551
(6) 2013, SOMMER+SOMMER using Kwiksurveys, n=551
(7) IBM Institute for Business Value, Global CEO survey (2010)
(8) Davidson, Cathy N. – “Now You See It: How Technology and Brain Science Will Transform Schools and Business for the 21st Century”
(9) 2013, SOMMER+SOMMER using Kwiksurveys, n=551
(10) Välikangas, Liisa / Jett, Quintus – “The golden spur: innovation independence”, Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 34 Iss: 5, pp.41 – 45 (2006)
(11) 2013, Leonard Sommer „Classroom Think Tank. Fostering creativity in our children’s classrooms. New approaches for educating the creative workforce of the 21st century. How the creative industry could inspire the education system.“