A creativity project


The project follows the practice of workshops at Manchester Business School applying the Manchester Method of team learning on a realistic challenge assessed for creativity and relevance to the task provided.

Working as a team, discuss the task provided, and generate a shortlist of candidate ideas.

Select one idea to work on.

Apply one or more deliberate techniques for supporting creative thinking to improve the chosen idea:Wouldn’t it be wonderful if?Yes and …Reversal of perspectiveRandom line of thinking (e.g. evocative dictionary random word

Present your idea concisely in 30 words or less (one illustration also permitted) for discussion 

The Task (to be allocated from)


The eminent British environmentalist Sir David Attenborough is approaching his 100th birthday. Suggest a fitting commemorative idea which he would appreciate. 


The  British creativity researcher Dr Rickards is approaching his 80th birthday. Suggest a fitting commemorative idea which he would appreciate. 


The British creativity researcher Dr Rickards is preparing a book entitled ‘How creativity will help solve global problems’

It will deal with such issues as Covid and Global Warming

Design a cover for the book for general readers.

[Suggestions welcomed before or after trying out the creative challenge. TR ]

3 Responses to A creativity project

  1. Dina says:

    I would struggle with #1. For a true environmentalist I would give a self charging electronic bike. How fitting for a global trotter? HM, not sure.
    #2. For you Tudor I would give an notebook so that you can feel it with your wonderful stories.
    #3 Some historical images that demonstrates how human ingenuity solved previous crises.

  2. I remember well your lectures and tutorials at MBS on how to improve personal and organizational creativity and thinking style–one of the best parts of the MBA I completed in 1994. Enjoy your birthday!

  3. Jeff Butler says:

    I have spent longer thinking about the 3rd challenge than the first or second. I wondered why global problems might be more important or worthwhile to solve than other kinds of problems – scale of consequences or resources required, difficulty or conflict in solution implementation, intellectual or physical barriers to overcome etc. I also was deliberately (because I’m me, not to systematically apply a creativity technique) sceptical about the need and value of a ‘traditional’ book, taking into account climate change and the vast number of trees that might be required for its global distribution if indeed it will explain and promote creativity as the holy grail of sustainability and quality of life and joie de vivre etc etc. This thinking lead me quickly to the idea that the “book” might be assembled or more precisely created via a globally dispersed collaborative effort by ordinary people not just extraordinary professors of idea generation technologies ( i.e. by user-innovators (problem solvers and opportunity seekers, idea dreamers and simple survivor doers)). So the global “book” might be a massive piece of performance art or a symphony of useful demonstrative illustration. Each solution or proposed solution or thought will be analogous to just a single musical note from one instrument in a world or universal ( why exclude extra terrestrials?) orchestra. You have already Tudor, as you state, started to prepare this creative endeavour. So a tiny element of the overall performance or evolving creative ecology might be a traditional book that deserves a traditional or non-traditional (creative?) cover. It could perhaps be a question mark. But what colour? Black on white? And…… I do not even know if a question mark exists in Chinese, Indian, or Pacific Island …. characters, languages and cultures. So not a very good first suggestion. Yes, but… Yes, my second idea for the cover is ” Yes, and.. ” My third idea is to ask on the cover ” Are you creative?” *. My fourth idea for the cover would be …..you ‘get’ the idea …….?

    * this quotation, based on an instant response, would allow oldish academics to attribute and discuss the work of Prof McKinnon who turned up one year /time, like Dr Who, in a vr simulator time machine in Manchester Business School tardis in the 1970s.

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