In 2015 I was selected as the fourth Creative Thinking Fellow by the University of Auckland's Creative Thinking Project (CTP). I spent three weeks in New Zealand giving public presentations in Auckland, Wellington, and New Plymouth, and participating in meetings with researchers, entrepreneurs, and business leaders. The experience helped me to synthesize the multiple sub-topics within my creativity research, and investigate how academic, market, and public policy approaches to creativity vary. This included looking closely at the relationship between  "creativity" and "innovation", which, though related, differ in important ways that business and education do not always recognize.

I was fortunate to interact with profound thinkers making significant contributions to how creativity is investigated and understood, including Mark Sagar, Peter O'Connor, Michael Corballis, and Brian Boyd. In 2016 I was invited to join a CTP generated team called the Creative Research Initiative as a Senior Research Fellow. Below are the team members with short bios and links to their work. 

Peter O'Connor - Director Professor O’Connor is an internationally recognised expert in applied theatre and drama education. His research focuses on applied theatre in marginalised and vulnerable communities. It has led to developing cutting-edge models of interdisciplinary praxis that explore the nexus of critical and creative pedagogies, aesthetics and social justice. Peter's most recent research includes multi and interdisciplinary studies on the creative pedagogies and the arts, the nature of embodied learning and the pedagogy of surprise.

Peter O'Connor - Director

Professor O’Connor is an internationally recognised expert in applied theatre and drama education. His research focuses on applied theatre in marginalised and vulnerable communities. It has led to developing cutting-edge models of interdisciplinary praxis that explore the nexus of critical and creative pedagogies, aesthetics and social justice. Peter's most recent research includes multi and interdisciplinary studies on the creative pedagogies and the arts, the nature of embodied learning and the pedagogy of surprise.

Ralph Buck Dr. Buck is Head of the Dance program at the University of Auckland and a Principal Investigator with the Centre for Brain Research. He co-initiated, advocated for and planned UNESCO’s International Arts Education Week, and is on the Executive Council of the World Alliance for Arts Education, which represents over 3 million arts educators in schools and communities. His research and publications focus upon dance teaching and learning, and community dance.

Ralph Buck

Dr. Buck is Head of the Dance program at the University of Auckland and a Principal Investigator with the Centre for Brain Research. He co-initiated, advocated for and planned UNESCO’s International Arts Education Week, and is on the Executive Council of the World Alliance for Arts Education, which represents over 3 million arts educators in schools and communities. His research and publications focus upon dance teaching and learning, and community dance.

Paula Morris Paula Morris (Ngati Wai) is a novelist and short story writer. Her novel Rangatira (Penguin, 2011) won the fiction categories at the 2012 New Zealand Post Book Awards and Nga Kupu Ora Maori Book Awards. She also writes YA novels, published by Scholastic in the US, and nonfiction, including On Coming Home (Bridget Williams Books, 2015). Dr Morris has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa, Tulane University in New Orleans, the University of Stirling and the University of Sheffield, as well as at festivals, schools, museums, conferences and writing centres around the world..

Paula Morris

Paula Morris (Ngati Wai) is a novelist and short story writer. Her novel Rangatira (Penguin, 2011) won the fiction categories at the 2012 New Zealand Post Book Awards and Nga Kupu Ora Maori Book Awards. She also writes YA novels, published by Scholastic in the US, and nonfiction, including On Coming Home (Bridget Williams Books, 2015). Dr Morris has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa, Tulane University in New Orleans, the University of Stirling and the University of Sheffield, as well as at festivals, schools, museums, conferences and writing centres around the world..

 
Mark Sagar Mark Sagar is the director of the Laboratory for Animate Technologies based at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute, which is creating interactive autonomously animated systems that will help define the next generation of human-computer interaction and facial animation. He is co-founder and CEO of Soul Machines, a company that works to humanize the interface between man and machines. While Special Projects Supervisor at Weta Digital, Mark was involved with the creation of technology for the digital characters in blockbusters such Avatar, King Kong, and Spiderman 2. His pioneering work in computer-generated faces was recognised with two consecutive Oscars at the 2010 and 2011 Sci-tech awards, a branch of the Academy Awards that recognises movie science and technological achievements.

Mark Sagar

Mark Sagar is the director of the Laboratory for Animate Technologies based at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute, which is creating interactive autonomously animated systems that will help define the next generation of human-computer interaction and facial animation. He is co-founder and CEO of Soul Machines, a company that works to humanize the interface between man and machines. While Special Projects Supervisor at Weta Digital, Mark was involved with the creation of technology for the digital characters in blockbusters such Avatar, King Kong, and Spiderman 2. His pioneering work in computer-generated faces was recognised with two consecutive Oscars at the 2010 and 2011 Sci-tech awards, a branch of the Academy Awards that recognises movie science and technological achievements.

Bruce Sheridan Bruce Sheridan is Chair of the North American region of CILECT, the international organization of film, television, and media schools. He has 30 years experience as a filmmaker and won the 1999 New Zealand Best Drama Award for the tele-feature Lawless. Professor Sheridan led the Cinema Art + Science program at Columbia College Chicago from 2001 to 2017, taking it into the élite echelon of world film schools. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in philosophy from the University of Auckland, where he is currently completing a PhD on "creativity and imagining in human development, education, art, and science from the perspective of embodied/extended theories of mind," and teaches screenwriting, directing, and producing at Columbia College Chicago.

Bruce Sheridan

Bruce Sheridan is Chair of the North American region of CILECT, the international organization of film, television, and media schools. He has 30 years experience as a filmmaker and won the 1999 New Zealand Best Drama Award for the tele-feature Lawless. Professor Sheridan led the Cinema Art + Science program at Columbia College Chicago from 2001 to 2017, taking it into the élite echelon of world film schools. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in philosophy from the University of Auckland, where he is currently completing a PhD on "creativity and imagining in human development, education, art, and science from the perspective of embodied/extended theories of mind," and teaches screenwriting, directing, and producing at Columbia College Chicago.