Creativity Lab

I created the Brussels Creativity Lab in beginning of 2020 because like any skill, creativity needs practice too. The monthly meetup is open to anyone interested in exploring new possibilities, questioning assumptions and discovering their creativity.

It is very important to establish a safe and supportive environment to foster learning in a collaborative way. To be able to encounter one another and learn from our varied expertise. Creativity thrives on diversity.

The first edition of the meetup (29.1.2020) was titled, “Seven Deadly Sins of Creativity” – through a series of collaborative activities we explored various barriers preventing us from connecting to our creativity and how might we overcome them. By moving beyond barriers of our creativity we enable unimaginable possibilities to emerge.

At the start of the session participants were invited to activate their explorer’s mindset:

  • to invite curiosity
  • to expect resistance and push forward
  • make connections
  • be flexible and open to possibilities
  • share stories of our understanding of the world

The Approach

Drawing inspiration from Logotherapy by Victor Frankl , participants were encouraged to approach all activities with “paradoxical intention” which is to demonstrate the opposite of what you are aiming to achieve.

So instead of trying to find a “way out” which typically suppresses a barrier, with a paradoxical intention approach, we exaggerate the barrier to a point of irony making it look seem ridiculous thus reducing it’s “power” over us. Using humour helps reverse our attitude towards it. Therefore resistance is reduced or disappears.

Activities

I created a deck of 39 cards with a single barrier on each card such as ego, fear of rejection, impatience, distraction, conformity, complacency, and over thinking, to name a few. Before each activity participants received a single card, then were invited to take part in a creative activity such as:

  • Generate 5 tips to promote the barrier
  • Create a personification of the barrier
  • In your group create a human sculpture representing the barrier
  • Create a unique dance move of your barrier. Everyone replicates the move

The meetup continues to nurture and grow creative behaviour within ourselves and with others. Join in the fun, tap into your creativity and meet some awesome folks. 

We are creative beings, our lives become our work of art
– Julia Cameron

Closing activity: Tree of Strengths

TREE OF STRENGTHS

Duration 10-15 min
Number of Persons 20+

Description
Before you kick off your end-of-day cocktail drink of your event, this simple closing activity helps participants meet others that they did not get a chance to interact with throughout the day.

Goal
To help participants to get to know each other at the beginning or ending of a session. To help participants identify their personal strengths.

Materials and preparation

  • A5 green colour card cut into “leaf-like” shapes
  • Thick multi-coloured markers
  • Large room with a large table in the centre

Instructions

  1. Have everyone stand in a circle.
  2. Pass around a leaf-like card to each participant.
  3. Invite everyone to grab a marker and write in bold letters on their leaf-like card the ONE THING people come to them for help.
  4. Once everyone has their word written on their card, ask them to hold it up to their chest.
  5. Instruct the group that they now have 3 minutes to get into groups of 3 – with people they have not interacted with throughout the day – and share how they practice their word.
  6. When time is up, invite them to create another group of 3 persons and share how they practice their word for another 3 minutes.
  7. When time is up, get everyone back into the circle and invite them, one-by-one, to call out the word on their card and place their card on the table in the middle of the room.
  8. Once everyone has placed their leaf-like cards on the table, close the session by pointing out that the tree represents the strengths of our community that shelters and nourishes us.

Background
I designed this activity as a closing session at an education hackathon organised by Ashoka Belgium – Education Innovation Programme “Education Shakers