Creativity – Can it be taught? And why is it important?

Creativity is a word that has received a lot of attention in recent years, but what is it and why is it important?

By Tina Larsen

Creativity is a sought-after quality, both at the private level and in working life. In the first Engage Talk of this semester Maiken Nilsen Stenaker from Engage has a discussion about creativity with an expert panel. They discuss what it is, whether it can be taught and why it is important. The expert panel consists of Elli Verhulst, Håvard Sandaa Karlsen and Kim Daniel Arthur.

If you want to learn more about creativity and how to develop your creative abilities, watch the Engage Talk below. It`s subtitled in english.

To be creative or non-creative

People will often consider themselves as either creative or non-creative. Being creative is often understood as being artistic and using visual means like painting, drawing and producing music. However, Kim Daniel Arthur believes that this way of thinking about creativity is a misconception.

Creativity is individual and everyone has their own way of being creative. You are not either a creative person or a non-creative person. We have all those qualities and bring them with us in what we do.

Kim Daniel Arthur, serial entrepreneur

Being creative does not belong to creative professions. A plumber, an accountant and a librarian can also be creative in their doings. The potential to be creative exists in every aspect of life, either it’s working life or private life. Creativity is really about finding solutions to a problem, coming up with new ideas and creating something. Being creative is therefore not just for the artistic. We need different perspectives and input from all types of people and from different types of disciplines and fields of knowledge to solve the great challenges we as a society face today.

Can you learn how to be more creative?

Yes, you can. Creativity is an ability and it can be developed. One can consider creativity as a muscle and a muscle can be trained. This also applies to your creative abilities. We must learn different creative methods and practice problem solving regularly and purposefully. It is important to force ourselves out of habitual thought patterns. As humans, we like the safe and comfortable, and as a result of evolutionary developments, we have learned to avoid fear. The feeling of fear can be an inhibitor of creativity. It can be scary to share ideas and jump into the unknown, but Håvard Sandaa Karlsen points out that you just have to do it. Do not be afraid of what others might think. Not all ideas are good, but a suitably good idea can be developed to be an extremely good idea if you get input and collaborate with others.

Why is creativity important?

Creativity is crucial to solving problems and challenges. We are in a time where we all have a social responsibility to become more sustainable. To become more sustainable, we must come up with new ideas and solutions that make it possible to act more sustainably on all levels.

You often hear about how much you must sacrifice or give to achieve the sustainability goals. But if everyone works with their creativity and collaborates, then maybe we will find better solutions that doesn’t necessarily lead to having to sacrifice something or compromise on either finances or functionality. We can be part of building this society into a better society, more sustainable in all respects and I think creativity is the key to making it happen.

Håvard Sandaa Karlsen, founder and CEO of by North

Creativity is therefore very important if we are to achieve the sustainability goals. Creativity is also important to solve other problems and challenges in life, either big or small. Developing your creative abilities should therefore be a priority.

Engage TALK

Engage TALK is a digital series in the field of entrepreneurship where we highlight current topics that can be useful for professionals, experts and businesses. The goal is to connect these different actors.

The next Engage TALK will be held on the 22nd of October.

See previous Engage TALKs here