Jun
12

Visionaries, Flower Children and the Conceptual Age

I was just talking with my old friend George Aguilar, with whom I once shared a rat’s nest of an office in our volunteer roles for the now-defunct National Poetry Association (once a groundbreaking nonprofit, its web address has been taken over by a French sex site). George ran the poetry-film festival and is a digital videographer (and cin(e)-poet–there’s a creative hybrid still ahead of its time); I ran Poetry USA, an ambitiously-named tabloid journal that in its time was well-known at least in San Francisco. We basically were cleaning up the nostalgic detritus left from artistic experimenters and hippies of a past era.

George was saying something like this: Isn’t it amazing that many of the radical ideas of the 60s/70s Counter Culture–the “green” movement, sustainability, solar power, as more obvious examples–have now become the economic solutions for a new generation of pragmatists? Despite being ridiculed throughout the past few decades, the Flower Children proved themselves to be the true visionaries.

Perhaps we have seen the bottom of this recession, and as we try to swim back above water, I’m wondering like everyone else what new age will emerge. One of my favorite thinkers on this is Daniel Pink, whose book A Whole New Mind describes the transition we’re making from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age. He explains why we need to develop our right, creative brains now more than ever, with left brain thinking more and more replaceable (see video below) and the innovation imperative of our time demanding more skills of creativity.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syo6ecgclR0]
Pink asserts six skills, or senses, that he sees as key to the new age, which, if more developed, may indeed help us keep our heads above water as a new United States of Creativity that these time demand:

1. Design: Creating something beautiful and emotionally engaging
2. Story: Creating compelling narrative, not just facts and info
3. Symphony: Connecting pieces, synthesis not just analysis
4. Empathy: Understanding others, developing emotional intelligence
5. Play: Going beyond seriousness to joyfulness and humor
6. Meaning: Pursuing purpose, passion and spirituality

Certainly sounds more like the post-Beatnick old timers at the NPA, doesn’t it, George?

Click to read more from Adam’s Innovation on My Mind blog

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