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Happiness, Giving, and Creativity: 3 Insights from Hidden Brain

By Shlomo Maital

I am a big fan of a podcast, called Hidden Brain, and its founder Shankar Vedante, a Harvard psychologist. This week’s podcast is especially fascinating. It is about happiness, creativity and diversity. Here are three insights that I believe we can all learn from and apply in our lives.

  1. “materialize”.

   “Emily Balcetis, a psychology professor at New York University, knows that there’s a deep truth to these sayings. As she shows in her book Clearer, Closer, Better: How Successful People See The World, our visual system and our behavior are linked. We can use our sight, she says, to help us make better decisions and reach our goals.”

     To think concretely about the longer term, try to materialize it – make it visual, clear, detailed, pictorial. Balcetis tells this story about Michael Phelps, and the 2008 Olympics. Phelps was competing in a 200 m. event, that would break records for gold medals. At the start his goggles filled with water. He could not see. And you do need to see, to know when to do the somersault-turn. But Phelps had ‘visualized’ and ‘materialized’. He went over this eventuality in his mind much earlier, and figured out what to do, and pictured himself doing it – count strokes. He knew exactly how many strokes would get him to the end of the pool, where he had to turn around. He counted…and turned…and won.   Balcetis shows Gen Y people photos of themselves, artificially aged, to help them think materially about saving and retirement.

   Emily Balcetis, a psychology professor at New York University, knows that there’s a deep truth to these sayings. As she shows in her book Clearer, Closer, Better: How Successful People See The World, our visual system and our behavior are linked. We can use our sight, she says, to help us make better decisions and reach our goals.


  1. Help others. “Psychologist Elizabeth Dunn studies happiness. She says at the heart of her research is a sad idea. “Whatever we have, we tend to get used to it. So no matter how awesome our lives might be, or what wonderful things come into our lives, we tend to get used to them over time, and the pleasure that they provide gradually diminishes.”

   Dunn shows one route to happiness: Give to others, rather than to yourself. But, as Balcetis explained, “materialize”. Giving to a website won’t do it. But later in the podcaste, Vedante explains how. He cites a wonderful Canadian idea — five people can come together and sponsor a Syrian immigrant.

   “A Group of Five (G5) is five or more Canadian citizens or permanent residents who have arranged to sponsor a refugee living abroad to come to Canada. G5s may only sponsor applicants who are recognized as refugees by either the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) or a foreign state”

The G5 are responsible for the immigrant family for a full year. Not just financially – but, meeting them at the airport, bringing them to their new home, and making many arrangements for them. Hidden Brain interviews someone in Vancouver who did this —   and it brought enormous happiness.

   Contrast Canada’s G5 idea with the Trump Administration’s xenophobic policies toward hapless immigrants, including children.

Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton, 2013.


  1. Diversity and creativity. Vedfante’s Harvard colleague, economist Richard Freeman, studied whether teams of scientists that are culturally diverse were more creative than those that were culturally homogenous, uniform. He measured this through citations. The answer is: Absolutely yes. It’s not surprising.   We’ve always known that teams that have divergent thinking (many many ideas, from many perspectives) are more creative than convergent ideas from same-culture people.

Freeman, R. B., & Huang, W. (2014). Collaboration: Strength in diversity. Nature News513(7518), 305.

   I believe that creativity brings happiness. So materialize, visualize, give to others materially and in a very personal manner, and welcome diversity, seek out those very different from yourself… Hidden Brain’s recipe for happiness.  


Creative Ideas: Anybody Can!

By Shlomo Maital

  Over the years, in teaching Workshops on creativity and innovation, mostly to MBA students and managers, I always began the workshop by asking participants: On a scale of 1 to 10, who thinks they score 9 or 10 on creativity?

   Very very few people raised their hands. And the rest of the workshop was devoted to persuading my students that “when it comes to creative ideas: anyone can!” The creative brain is much like our biceps (a muscle) — exercise it and it gets far stronger and more productive.

   Confirmation comes from Avery Blank, writing in the June 9 issue of Forbes magazine. Here is her finding:

     “People underestimate the originality of their ideas, according to recent research from INSEAD, The Open University of Israel and Technion. People assume that others have the same ideas as them. Like many assumptions, this assumption is often incorrect. The danger of believing in this assumption can stop you from acting, whether that is presenting your idea in a meeting, writing an article on a topic or starting a business venture. Stop thinking that you do not have unique ideas, because you do.

OK, so – what can we ordinary folks do, to be more creative. Blank proposes three steps:

  1. Hold on to the idea.   If you have an idea, capture it. Your idea might be the key to helping your team pivot in a more successful direction or helping your organization to be more innovative. Don’t dismiss your thoughts.
  2. Resist the urge to always think more. Some people equate more effort with better. That is, some people believe that thinking more on an idea will make that idea better. While this could be true sometimes, it is not necessarily always the case. There is a lot of creativity at the start of the ideation process. When you are brainstorming, you don’t feel boxed in. You feel more comfortable letting your mind go, thinking about the possibilities and less on the probabilities.
  3. Now speak up.   You could have a unique idea, but no one will know it if you stay silent because you think your idea is not good enough. Research shows that people underestimate their originality. Now that you are aware of this bias, try to overcome it and share your idea.

Blank concludes forcefully: “You have more originality than you think, so don’t discount all your thoughts as uninteresting or commonplace. When you have an idea, capture it. Don’t think that you have to always think on the idea more to make it more original. Finally, just say it. The difference between a person who is seen as having a unique idea and a person who is seen as not having a unique idea can be found in the act of speaking up.”

I believe there is a gender-bias problem with creativity. Women have lots of ideas. But in mixed groups or teams, men often simply do not listen to women, who speak more softly and often lack sharp elbows. These days, we cannot afford to let great ideas go to waste. Let’s listen to the women — look how female heads of state in Taiwan, Finland, Norway, New Zealand and Germany have outdone their male counterparts elsewhere!

     p.s. this is my 1,700th blog.

How Israel Solved the Ventilator Shortage:

Organizing Creativity

By Shlomo Maital

As the world seems to be slowly emerging from the pandemic, fears now turn to a possible second wave. So, we may still need ventilators, in large quantities.

     Here is how a creative Israeli team has attacked this problem, according to Rosella Tercatin, writing in the daily Jerusalem Post, May 10:

      “Manshema, a $200-a-piece open source technology created by an Israeli team, could solve the problem of the shortage of ventilators crucial to assist patients who contract the most serious forms of COVID-19 worldwide.

       “Around mid-March, a group of Israeli organizations – including the IDF, the Assuta Medical Center in Ashdod and Rafael Advanced Technology – engaged several hundreds of their affiliated experts in what they called a “COVID-19 sprint.” The participants were divided into 16 teams to work on finding solutions to a list of problems related to the pandemic. One of the teams decided to tackle the problem of creating a very simple but effective ventilator.

       “As explained to The Jerusalem Post by Mordechai Halfon, an officer at the Technological Division of the IDF Ground Forces, within two weeks a first working prototype of the machine was ready.

     “Our device does not intubate patients, no tube is inserted in their throat to push the air in, they can still breath on their own but the hard work is done by the machine,” he said. “It is catered specifically to COVID-19 patients, who required a very specific type of ventilation. This is why it is so simple, as opposed to regular ventilators which need to be suitable for many different kinds of needs.”

     “The Manshema team includes different kind of engineers, medical experts, product managers, who had never met before. Seven of them have been working on the project full time – Gil Bachar, Stav B., Elad Grozovski, Ronen Zilberman, Roi Galili Darnell, Ivry Shapira, Omri Mizrachi – others are contributing in different capacities.

   “At the beginning, the group worked on the task by themselves, meeting online when required. Afterwards, they started to meet at the Tel Aviv branch of Assuta.

     “The project is completely nonprofit and opensource, which means that all the relevant information is available to any manufacturer interested in producing them or medical center in using them all over the world.”





Coronavirus: Cheap Israeli technology may solve world ventilator shortage

The project is completely nonprofit and opensource.


MAY 10, 2020 17:

“Because we are talking about a world-wide pandemic, it was important for the ventilator to be cheap and easy to manufacture. We also wanted it to be disposable,” Stav B., a doctoral student at the Tel Aviv University, told the Post. “Quite at the beginning, we were selected by the Health Ministry as a pilot project and they supported us.”

Since the cost of production of every unit stands at about $200 and the time required at around two/three hours of work, while ventilators available to the market cost from several thousands to several dozen thousand dollars and have become harder and harder to find and purchase, the product could really revolutionize the fight against the virus even in the poorest countries.

“We have received a lot of support also from many companies here in Israel. We have found out that since nobody is involved in the initiative to make money, everyone has been very happy to help us in providing what we needed just for the goal of fighting the virus,” Halfon explained.

The product will undergo clinical trials at Assuta Medical Center in the next few weeks.

“In the first phase, we are going to test it on healthy volunteers, which should be easy to find, after on patients and critical patients. We are not sure how long it will take to complete the trial, but we are hoping that we are going to be ready before the next wave of the virus, if it comes,” the captain pointed out. “We believe that this machine can save a lot of lives.”

Halfon explained that when everything started, they did not think they would be able to arrive to this point.

“We worked through steps. First, we decided to dive into the actual requirements that the machine would need, then we focused on how the solution would look in a broader perspective and only then on how to build the machine,” he said.

“I think it is important to highlight two key elements in our work: the quality of the team effort and the will to do something good,” he concluded.

A Frank Sinatra Approach to Teaching Math –

And Fostering Creative Thinking

By   Shlomo Maital   

    “ Yes, there were times…I’m sure you knew…..When I bit off more than I could chew….But through it all when there was doubt….I ate it up and spit it out….I faced it all   And I stood tall     And did it my way”

     I’m in Basel, Switzerland, attending a school psychology conference with my wife. Yesterday I presented a Poster on “can effective creativity be taught to, and learned by, students?”   Effective creativity is defined as having creative ideas and successfully implementing them. Of course, the really hard part is implementation.

     A young psychologist approached me, at my Poster, and described her partner’s unique method for fostering creativity in teaching math. Now, in general, high school math teachers teach “the right way” to solve problems. They describe a problem, show how to solve it, and demand that students use this approach in solving similar ones. Our son often came home from high school with big X’s – because he successfully solved a math problem in a way other than what the teacher described.

   Now, math is a tool, a powerful one. Is there room for creativity in a math classroom?

   There is indeed.   Here is what the Swiss psychologist described, and how I believe math (and everything) should be taught, to foster creativity:

    I gladly describe to you the teaching technique my partner uses as opposed to a more broadly conventional teaching style here in Europe or even America:    

    Most teachers in high school mathematics, when introducing new mathematical topics from the curriculum, will show the students a problem on the blackboard and will solve it in front of the class to make their point. Whether it is a hard or easy level of a problem does vary sometimes of course, from teacher to teacher. Afterward they will ask their students to solve similar easy problems and from there will offer tougher and tougher ones for them to elevate their thinking skills for the problem.  

What makes my partner’s approach different -and as I have been told, it is a typical Asian style of teaching- is that he wants to really elevate the students capability to find creative mathematical solutions for problems. How he does it is simple: He will present a problem to the class that is not solvable from first glance, he DOESN’T solve it in front of them at the blackboard.

    He gives the students time to think about their own solutions for the given problem. In the end, he will let all of the students tell the class their approach, and the fascinating thing about it is, that even though some of them did not solve the problem all the way through, they still could contribute to its solution with some unique thought steps the other ones did not think about.

     The second, and even more fascinating fact to me is that even if the approaches to solution offered by the students sometimes differ strongly from each other, my partner will take the ideas of every single student and THEN will show the whole class on the blackboard, how each of the students is not wrong, and how they can solve the problem proposed with their very own ideas individually, as he picks up sometimes unfinished thoughts from the students and finishes them for the “aha!” effect to occur.

    What evolves from that is pure joy from the students side, and creative and strong classes. As I mentioned in our conversation, he teaches mathematics on a high school level at a high school in Zürich, which is particularly known for putting the focus on MINT subjects, and many of the students from that high school will enter into ETH Zürich afterward [a world-class science and technology university].  The children love having mathematics come to life with this approach, and in the end, I believe, what a country needs is curious minds, to bring it forward, not thinking inside a box.

     What does this have to do with Frank Sinatra? Remember his memorable song: I did it MY way!   Why not let our kids be Frank Sinatra, in math class.   Solve it YOUR way! Not my (teacher’s) way. Having trouble? Keep trying. Persist. Learn to overcome frustration and temporary failure. And come to think of it, why not let our kids be Frank Sinatra in ALL classrooms.   Here is a problem, or challenge. Can you solve it? Can you help your classmates solve it?

     At this ISPA conference, a leading Swiss psychologist told us (in Latin) that schools teach “not for learning, but for life”. Life poses challenges. Only rarely are we given a canned easy solution. We have to find it for ourselves. And we have to help our friends and seek their help.

       Why not help our children practice life, in school?   Even in math class?





The Creativity of Nature:

How One Creative Scientist Harnessed It

By   Shlomo Maital

Prof. Frances Arnold, Caltech

   Frances Arnold is a professor of chemical engineering at California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena, CA. She won the 2018 Nobel Prize for chemistry, along with two others. She is only the fifth woman in history to win the Chemistry Nobel.

   Prof. Arnold has had numerous personal tragedies. She has overcome all the grief – and not a small amount of gender discrimination. UK border police interrogated her for over two hours, when she told them she was “coming to meet the Queen” (she was – but a lot of nutty people say that, apparently).

     Prof. Arnold won the Nobel for finding a creative way to leverage the powerful creative force of evolution. Instead of designing new chemicals from scratch, to fight crop-eating pests, remove laundry stains or clean up oil spills, Arnold figured out how to get Nature to do it.

     “You start with a protein that already has some features you’re interested in”, she said, “ and use standard lab techniques to randomly mutate the gene that encodes the protein. Then you look for slight improvement in the resulting protein, in the direction you seek. You mutate the improved version again and again and screen the output. You do this with a bacterial workhorse, like E. coli….. you encourage the microbes to rise to the challenge, adapt, survive.”

       In Dr. Arnold’s lab, organisms have been ‘mutated’ to stitch together carbon and silicon, or carbon and boron. “We’re discovering that nature can do chemistry, in the lab, we never dreamed was possible”, Dr. Arnold said.    Arnold has invented the new field of evolutionary chemistry – using Nature’s incredibly creative system known as evolution and ‘survival of the fittest’, to create random mutations, select the ones that work, perfect them – and change the world. Nature is creative, in much the same way that humans are – try things, fail, try again, find something that does work and run with it. That is how we humans were created – and according to Darwin, all the millions of species on earth.    

   Arnold has launched a number of startups, including one that synthesizes insect pheromones and fends off agricultural pests by simply driving them crazy and confusing them.

   Much of Dr. Arnold’s pioneering research was done while she fought breast cancer that had spread to her lymph nodes. She underwent surgery, radiation and chemo, all while raising three young boys and working day and night in her lab.   And in 2010 her husband Andrew Lange killed himself; her middle son William, 20, died in an accident in 2016.  

     “Why would I give up?” said Arnold. “First you learn you have no control. Then you straighten up, fetch your invitation and go to meet the Queen.”    

       [This is based on an excellent New York Times article, by Natalie Angier, who writes for the Science Times].









Why Do Writers Write? Where Do Their Ideas Come From?
By Shlomo Maital
Amos Oz
   What’s in an Apple?  Six Conversations about Writing and about Love, about Guilt and Other Pleasures.  Amos Oz with Shira Hadad   (Keter – Hebrew, May 2018).

 I write and teach about  creativity.  The key question, where do ideas come from?, has always fascinated me.  This book (so far, only in Hebrew),  answers that question for one especially talented writer, Israel’s greatest novelist Amos Oz.  His editor Shira Hadad, who knows his books better than Amos himself, asked him hard questions and recorded the answers. 
   Amos Oz  is 79.  His work has been published in 45 languages in 47 countries.   He was short listed for the Mann Booker Prize and is purported to be a candidate for a Nobel Prize.   His latest work is Judas (2014).  His book A Tale of Love and Darkness was made into a movie.
Here are a few quotes, that I have translated…:
  Oz recounts that he was an only child, and his parents would bring him to a Jerusalem coffee shop, swearing him to silence, promising him that if he did not bother their conversation with friends, he would get a rare treat, ice cream.  So Oz recounts, he became a ‘spy’,  listening to conversations, and weaving stories based on them.   “My first motivation was to think, what would I feel, if I were they, If I were he, If I were she…  I was an only child, did not have friends…I simply began to ‘spy’ on the people sitting at nearby tables….”
    “[famous Israeli author A.B. Yehoshua] –  I have an issue with him.  He places the moral question, crime and punishment, at the center of his works.  I think about the moral issue in a different way —  I put myself in others’ shoes, for a few hours, or inside their skin… I believe that a curious person is even a better [marriage] partner than  a non-curious one…and even a better driver! (you are always thinking what the other guy will do!).   ..There is also ‘dark curiosity’.  About those who injure others, to see them suffer….”
“Usually I write out of anger.  I get angry about something. And curiosity is not only a necessary condition for intellectual endeavors, it also has moral virtue.”
    Oz recounts that he rises at 4 a.m.,  and even before coffee,  goes out into the dark streets of Jerusalem for a walk.  He returns at 4:45, has coffee, and then begins to write, for 3-4 hours.  Every single day.  Not a miss..  Sometimes he sees lights on in windows, and wonders about those inside…  He writes endless drafts, sometimes 10 or even 15 of them, by hand  …discards the bad ones, picks the best…and tears the rest into tiny pieces and flushes them down the toilet, lest someone discover them. (Kafka, he observes, ordered his executor and friend Max Brod to burn ALL his manuscripts. Brod, luckily, refused.  Oz says, if you want to destroy your work, do it yourself. If you ask someone else to do it, they won’t…). 
  Oz says that he writes about the past.. this is the natural time to write about, not the present, or the future.  “Story” he says, is part of the word “history”.  He does not like to read his own books.. because he always knows he could have done better. 
   One of his earliest books was My Michael (1968).  So Oz has been writing productively for over 50 years, and is still writing, at age 79. 

   How does he know if his work of fiction is ready to publish?   If, he says, his characters argue with him, dispute him, take on their own lives.  If I tell them what to do too easily, he says, it doesn’t work.  I refuse to write a certain scene. My character says, write it!  I say, No!  My character says, don’t tell me what to do!   This is when I know the work is going well, he recounts. 
     Oz is politically left.  So are David Grossman, A.B. Yehoshua and David Grossman, the other great Israeli writers.
      Why, I wonder, are great authors almost always liberal and left politically?  I guess the answer is simple.  Great writers have incredibly sensitive empathy for other people and for their suffering.  So they feel the suffering of their ‘foes’ and want to reduce or eliminate it. 

     Those on the right seem rather inured to this suffering.  Too bad.  




 Draw Your Riskometer

By Shlomo Maital

Tina Seelig’s Riskometer

Tina Seelig is a Stanford University professor, who teaches creativity and innovation. In a TED salon talk,

   She shows us how to change the way we relate to risk, and to luck. It all starts with leaving our comfort zone – being comfortable with being uncomfortable. And that, in turn, relates to taking risks…taking chances. But first, we need to look deeply into ourselves.

   So to do this, try Seelig’s riskometer. Draw a circle. Place on the circumference, six ‘realms”, or types of risk (financial, intellectual, social, political, emotional, physical.   On the spoke, mark the place where your risk appetite resides…’high’, close to the circumference, ‘low’, close to the center.

   Now – carefully consider, how you can improve your risk appetite, for realms where you are risk averse – and stuck in yourcomfort zone.

     Creativity is risky. It involves taking chances. The more comfortable you are with this, the more willing you will be, to come up with innovative ideas and, most important, to try them.

   By the way, the riskometer diagram above is Tina Seelig’s own. She needs some work on physical and financial risk. Tina – try sky diving. And,   buy a few Tesla shares….

Working Hypothesis That Changed My Life:

Every Problem Has a Solution

By Shlomo Maital

   I have written another book on creativity: Dismantle! How to Deconstruct Your Mind and Build a Personal Creativity Machine. It will be published by Harper Collins (India) in October. Why India? I’ve discovered Indian publishers are superb at editing and printing books and the market price is a fraction of that in the US. Besides, Indian people still do read books.

   Here is the opening prologue of my book. It makes a point that I learned from a former student and co-author Arie Ruttenberg: Creativity is widening the range of choice. You always have a choice. Every problem does have a creative solution. But only if you first believe that – and begin your search. This principle has changed my life. Perhaps it can change yours?

     If you are like me, you tend to skip through non-fiction books rather quickly, searching for the essence and picking the ripe ‘cherries’ from the tree, when most of the ‘fruit’ in the book is not yet ripe or relevant or interesting or non-obvious.

   Here, then, is a quick overview of this book. As you read on, please feel free to cherry-pick.

     But before we begin our journey to re-energized creativity, I’d like to emphasize a key point—literally, the key to unlocking your creative skills.

     Scientific research begins with a hypothesis—a supposition about what the research may reveal. For example, a scientist sought to find the number of neurons (brain cells) in the human brain, starting off with the assumption that the number was 100 billion; that was the commonly believed number. The assumption was false. It turned out that there are 86 billion neurons in the brain.  

     We all make assumptions. Most of the time they are hidden, ill-defined and below the threshold of our awareness.   When we tackle hard problems we often harbour a hidden assumption, such as, ‘there is no solution to this’, and come to the conclusion: Live with it, as is.    

       Humans are wonderfully resilient and are skilled at adapting and adjusting to difficulties and unmet needs. This resilience, or acceptance, is a highly positive quality. But it also can be harmful.

         I urge every reader to embrace a very different hypothesis. I would like my readers to assume that for every challenge, every problem, every unmet need and unsatisfied want, there is a solution—at least one. Every problem has a solution.   It is simply a matter of finding it and implementing it. By assuming there is a solution rather than that there is not one, we have taken a major first step towards effective creativity.

Try it. Tackle hard problems. Think creatively. Dive deep into the essence of the problem. Try wild ideas. You may fail. But the effort is glorious and praiseworthy. And you might just succeed.

p.s. the quote is by Donna Karan, who launched a wonderful creative fashion company. Louis Vuitton recently sold the DKNY brand for $650 million.

Snow Capped Idea Volcanoes:

Creativity of the Elderly

Shlomo Maital


     A mind is a terrible thing to waste.   Are we wasting the creative minds of our seniors?   Is the wrong-headed assumption that creativity is entirely the domain of young minds depriving the world of revolutionary ideas? As countries in the West and East alike age, will we marginalize all those senior minds — and waste a precious resource?  

     Consider my own example.   I requested, and received, early retirement from my university employer, in 2001. I was then able to help lead a management institute that worked with many global high-tech companies and startups. I learned how to help them diagnose their core problems and make their organizations consistently innovative. I then wrote down what I learned in a dozen books, that I wrote, co-authored and edited, almost one a year.   I became a snow-capped idea volcano – and completed the Boston Marathon when I was 63.   And today, at 75.5 (the decimal was supplied by an Asian nation, when I applied for a visa) I am working on a collection of short stories titled “What If? The Willing Suspension of Disbelief”.

       And best of all, I got to meet and study a very large number of creative individuals, snow-capped like me, whose ideas were validated and activated and created enormous value. I could have opted for a rocking chair, which is what society often prescribes for seniors. Luckily I chose the ‘volcano’ alternative.

       We know a lot about the aging brain. It works a bit slower. It doesn’t remember things that well. But it does have an ephemeral quality called wisdom – the quality of having the magical mixture of knowledge, experience and judgment. I cannot count the number of startup ideas I’ve seen, that embody magical technology, to satisfy a non-existent need. Senior brains avoid that trap.

         Here is just one example, that I wrote about in my innovation blog a year ago:

     John Goodenough and his team at University of Texas (Austin) “has just set the tech industry abuzz with his blazing creativity”, writes Pagan Kennedy, in the New York Times.   “He and his team filed a patent application on a new kind of battery that, if it works, as promised, would be so cheap, lightweight and safe that it would revolutionize electric cars and kill off petroleum-fueled vehicles.    

     This is not Goodenough’s first invention. At age 57 he coinvented the lithium-ion battery that shrank power into a tiny package; such batteries now exist in nearly all devices at home and at work.  OK – another genius. Nice. But what is unusual about Goodenough?   His age.   He is 94 years old.

   The thing is, we have known for many centuries that senior brains are highly productive and creative. Leonardo da Vinci, perhaps history’s single most creative individual, was making breakthrough discoveries in hydraulics and anatomy when he was 57, in 1509 (in those days, old age!) and when he was 62, a year before his death, he was making plans to drain the Pontine Marshes in Italy.

     Often, the first step toward breakthrough ideas is smashing an iconic sacred-cow assumption. Let’s discard forever the assumption that only fresh young brains are creative. Let’s tell our seniors, we need your ideas, built on your wisdom and your experience. And then, let’s harvest the crop of world-changing ideas erupting from all those snow-capped idea volcanoes.


How to Change Your World With Ideas
By Shlomo Maital

Kavala Greece
During the week of May 13-20,  2018,   I will offer a course on “How to Change Your World With Ideas”,  at a lovely spot,  Kavala Greece.   I would be happy if you would join me there.   Check it out at this URL:
Here is a short description of my proposed course:  How to Change Your World With Ideas
Consider this.  Some 98% of five-year-old children score “genius level” on a standard creativity test.   At age 10, only 32% reach ‘genius’.  At age 15: 10%.  At age 30:  2%.     Creativity-driven Apple has created more wealth (over $1 trillion) in 40 years than oil-based Exxon Mobil has in 90 years.   Why then is  society destroying what may be its main resource – ideas?
I believe most adults perceive that their creative juices have diminished since childhood.  But few of us know why, or how to remedy this.  There is an internal paradox in creativity.  Generating ideas demands that we smash all constraints and employ soaring head-in-the-clouds imagination. Yet unless we have an orderly feet-on-the-ground process for doing so,  we forego the second half of the definition of creativity:  “novel” and “useful”.   Creativity requires ideation, validation,  and actuation.  Each of these three steps employs a different mindset.
This course begins with the proposition that “everyone can” – everyone can generate an endless stream of creative ideas.  The brain is a kind of muscle – it gets stronger with exercise.   In this 5-day course, I will offer participants a variety of components, that together can be assembled into a ‘personal creativity machine’ (PCM) – a highly individualized process that produces a stream of highly creative ideas,  ones that  change your own world and possibly change the whole world.  Like fingerprints, no two PCM’s are identical.
Our 12 hours together will end with each participant constructing his or her PCM – and turning it on, with no ‘off’ button.

Blog entries written by Prof. Shlomo Maital

Shlomo Maital