This article describes the contribution of creativity to human development in the new nation of Timor-Leste, exemplified in a case study of community art centre Afalyca. By taking a creative approach to the challenges of life in his developing country, the young leader of this enterprise, Marqy da Costa, is realising his own potential more fully and offering enriching experiences to others. The impact of his centre on a range of stakeholders, including staff, participants and the wider community is discussed.
For participants, the outcomes of their involvement include enjoyable opportunities for creative expression; valued recognition from national and international audiences; the broadening of life experience to encompass new possibilities for self-actualisation; skill development and income from employment and sales.
The factors that have contributed to Afalcya's creative achievements are examined. These include inspiration and assistance received from organisations and individuals in and outside of Timor, family support, and the age and gender of leaders. Also significant are founder Marqy's personal characteristics of artistic talent, social and language skills, love of learning, persistence and conciliatory approach to conflict. Barriers to the realisation of Afalcya's potential include lack of systemic recognition of the value of creativity for sustainable development, unsupportive bureaucracy and gender related restrictions of participation for women. The potential for similar initiatives to contribute to a positive future for Timorese people is explored.
Timor-Leste, creativity, arts participation, human development.
We are looking for some real life problems to solve and we would love to hear your ideas. Much as we'd all love world peace or an end to global warming, we need to identify problems that have Problem Owners - ie. someone who can take our ideas and actually put them into practice.
Vincent Nolan, an internationally recognised expert in the Synectics creative problem solving process, has generously offered to facilitate the process once we've identified a problem to solve. We're really looking forward to seeing your ideas!
PS. Thanks very much to those of you who submitted ideas in our first experiment - there were some great ideas and we'll definitely try them out!
Earlier this year I gave the Annual Crichton Carbon Centre Lecture at the Crichton Campus in Dumfries and Galloway (Scotland). The following piece is an 'interview version' of that lecture, carried out by Dame Barbara Kelly.
I've always thought about leadership broadly and related those thoughts to many of the wonderful people that I have worked with and for, and learned from reflecting on their performance and my own. However, for the purposes of this piece I need to thank Dr James Martin for his inspiration.
The 21st Century is widely regarded as the Age of Creativity. Whether or not you agree with that statement, there is little doubt that creative solutions to some of the world's most pressing problems are very much needed. Certainly, there has been growing interest in creativity, with certain governments and business leaders regarding the capacity to be creative as key to economic success. The role of creativity in individual health and well-being is also widely acknowledged - in fact a future issue of this journal will be devoted to exploring exactly what that role is - in our personal lives, in the community and at work. Whether or not you agree that creativity also has a dark side depends partly on how you define it.
Two years ago, Calum, a 13 year old boy on the autistic spectrum would not have been walking along the River Ness making his way to the theatre to attend an animation class. He would not have had the confidence, the trust or the opportunity. The same could be said of Laura, a 21 year old student, who at age 9 lost her mother to cancer. The grief that followed led to destructive behaviour, a decrease in her self esteem and an eventual suspension from school. It was only when they took advantage of creative opportunities offered by their local theatre, Eden Court, that their confidence increased and their artistic passions were fuelled and developed.