The G4C Thinking Outside The Box event on Wednesday 27th November at Sheffield Hallam University was an afternoon of presentations and workshops designed to inspire creative thinking in a business environment and to provide new techniques and ways of thinking that can be applied at not only work, but also in day to day life. These techniques can breathe new life into normally mundane things such as meetings or projects for work. Open to anyone and everyone, this event gave new ideas to people of all ages and walks of life. Students, software developers, construction project managers and people from many more professions found new ways of going about their daily routine.
The event was organised by Mike Raven of YORhub and G4C. Mike got proceedings underway by explaining the purpose of the afternoon, saying thank you to the sponsors who made the event possible (Sheffield Hallam University, Moor End Academy, ICE, Creative Huddle, YORhub, Efficiency North) and introducing key note speaker James Allen of Creative Huddle.
James Allen has spent the past 15 years travelling all over promoting some of the world’s best loved tourist destinations such as Sydney, California and the Maldives. One and a half years ago James founded Creative Huddle, with the aim of improving business employee’s creative thinking abilities and teaching them creative problem solving strategies to improve innovation in the workplace. In his presentation James highlighted the current lack of creativity within business, he went on to explain to the audience ways in which we can bring creativity into the office. These ideas included suggestions such as taking a walk for half an hour or finding a place outdoors to hold a meeting rather than in a meeting room.
After James’ presentation attendees headed to the Cantor building for some workshops, one hosted by ICE and the other by James Allen. First up was ICE’s team workshop. Participants were split into groups of 3, given some wooden blocks and set the challenge of building the tallest and most robust tower. Given the simplicity of the task, it turns out it’s harder than it sounds.
The next workshop was by James Allen, the theme of the workshop was creative problem solving, with having to think of a current problem no matter how big or small and passing it to the next person to come up with a solution.
The final part of the afternoon was a talk by Rodger Carrier, a teacher from Moor End Academy. He started off by showing the video ‘Changing Paradigms’ by Ken Robinson. This linked into what Rodger went on to describe how Moor End Academy became a creative and constructive thinking school 2 years ago, a school that looks to try and achieve innovation in education. Researching and implementing new, creative learning and teaching techniques has become Rodger’s job, as the school looks to build upon the 2 ‘outstanding’ grades given to them by OFSTED. The technique Rodger concentrated on in his talk was the ‘6 Thinking Hats’ approach devised by Edward De Bono, a technique Rodger said can be applied to people at work, is a very effective method of conducting meetings and can also be used in your normal life. Rodger’s talk went down very well, with many of the attendees looking for such techniques that they could take back to their respective workplaces.
Event organiser Mike Raven commented, ‘It was a full afternoon designed to give students and professionals an insight into creativity which resulted in lots of interesting new ideas coming up for discussion.”