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Education. Industry. Creativity.
Susan McCalmont wants to make sure all three overlap in our state, and she’s looking for the Oklahoma Creativity Forum to help do it.
The president of Creative Oklahoma is gearing up for her organization to host its first Oklahoma Creativity Forum on Nov. 1 at the Embassy Suites in Norman.
“We hope that it will bring about life change for a number of people, in terms of learning more how to employ creativity and innovation tactics within their workplace or environments,” McCalmont says. “The ultimate goal is that we begin to look at our culture within our work and school environments to have more creative environments.”
Invention and entrepreneurial thinking are the main goals. A secondary goal is to provide a networking opportunity.
“In the past, we’ve been primarily focused on creativity in education, and we’ve had several events,” she says. “This one is geared toward all three audiences to connect the education sector with the business sector and with the cultural sectors.”
Whole Foods Market CEO and co-founder John Mackey will deliver the keynote address on creativity and capitalism with a focus on giving back to improve quality of life.
Mackey also co-founded “Conscious Capitalism,” the idea that challenges corporate leaders to invest time in deciding why their organizations exist and what their roles are in an interdependent marketplace.
McCalmont says Mackey’s innovative line of thinking in the marketplace fits perfectly with her group’s mission of inspiring innovation and creativity. He helped grow Whole Foods Market to a $10 billion Fortune 300 company.
Oklahoma Creative Inc. Chairman Don Betz, president of the University of Central Oklahoma, says the forum is an opportunity for advancement both for his organization and those involved in the creative process in Oklahoma.
“The Creativity Forum … is an opportunity to affirm the vital role that creativity plays in building a culture of learning and innovation in Oklahoma,” he says. “Innovation is one of the keys to a prosperous future for our state and its citizens. Oklahoma is facing the challenge of rapid change and heightened competition — regional, national and global.”“Innovation is one of the keys to a prosperous future for our state and its citizens. Oklahoma is facing the challenge of rapid change and heightened competition — regional, national and global.” —Don Betz
The State of Creativity Awards Gala will be held Nov. 3 at Meinders Hall of Mirrors in the Civic Center in Oklahoma City.
It will celebrate Oklahoma’s creativity ambassadors, induct new creativity ambassadors and recognize student achievement with Creative Sparks.
McCalmont says more than $25,000 in grants will be awarded at the gala, where more than 1,000 attendees from across the state, ranging from policymakers to students, are expected. More than 50 creative businesses and organizations will set up in the exhibit hall.
Creative Oklahoma hosted the World Creativity Forum last November. That event drew more than 2,600 people from 18 countries.
“By having the World Creativity Forum here last year, it helped to garner a certain level of visibility for creativity and innovation for people here in Oklahoma to recognize it’s not just a statewide movement, but an international, global movement that Oklahoma is in the center of,” McCalmont says.
The forum, themed “Out of the Box,” will be delivered in two formats. Breakout sessions will focus on tactical ways to introduce creativity into various arenas, while the larger sessions will serve to try to motivate creativity.