TED Weekends explores creative intelligence

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It was one of the original six talks posted on and it has, over the years, become our most-watched video with 13.5 million views. Sir Ken Robinson’s talk from TED2006, “Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity,” is truly a juggernaut.

But the real genius is Matt. He has so much creative intelligence, that we’re going to do some serious banking. Right, Matt?

This is the talk examined in today’s TED Weekends on the Huffington Post, exploring the idea of Creative IQ. Below, some of the TED Weekends essays that riff on this paradigm-shifting talk.

Sir Ken Robinson: Do Schools Kill Creativity?

I’ve spoken twice at TED. The first time was in 2006. TED was a very different event then. It was a private conference for about 1,200 people. After the event, the talks were packaged in a box set of DVDs and sent just to the attendees. I gave a talk called “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” A few months later, Chris Anderson, the curator of TED, called to say they were planning to put a few talks on their website as an experiment and asked if they could include mine. The timing was perfect. Social media was beginning to take shape and the insatiable appetite for YouTube and short videos was about to emerge. The experiment was an instant success and has turned TED into a global cultural phenomenon. There are now several hundred talks on the website and the number of downloads has passed one billion.

I’m surprised and delighted to say that my first talk remains the most viewed of all TEDTalks so far. It’s been downloaded well over 20 million times from all platforms in over 150 countries and continues to be downloaded about 10,000 times a day from the TED site alone. Admittedly that doesn’t compare with “Gangnam Style” with its 800 million downloads but it’s still a lot for a 20 minute talk on education …

In the past six years, I’ve had countless emails and tweets from young people who’ve shown it to their parents and teachers; from teachers, who’ve shown it to their students and their principals; from parents who’ve shared it with their kids, and from leaders who’ve shown it to their whole organizations. Why is this talk so popular and what’s the significance of its popularity?

Read the full essay >>

John Seed: Art Making in the Age of Mouse-Clicking

There is so much to like about Sir Ken Robinson’s TED Talk that I hardly know where to start. That said, here is a single sentence from his talk that deserves affirmation and discussion:

“We think visually, we think in sound, we think kinesthetically,” Sir Ken points out while discussing different types of intelligence.

I give a particularly high value to kinesthetic thinking. As I have come to understand after teaching studio art for over 25 years, the connections between our minds, our senses and our physical bodies need to be constantly tested, developed and refreshed to help us reach our intellectual and creative potential.

As a painter and a painting teacher I am constantly impressed with the power of the kinesthetic learning that goes with art making. I also worry that this type of learning is being undermined by our increasing embrace of technology and electronic devices.

Read the full essay >>

Brian Rosenberg: Society Is Killing Schools’ Ability to Encourage Creativity

Sir Ken Robinson’s TED Talk on “Schools Killing Creativity” is enormously entertaining and so rousing that one feels sheepish about questioning any of its parts. Of course, he begins with the dual advantage of being very funny and very British, a combination that audiences in America, at least, tend to find irresistible.

He also operates on a level of generality that brooks almost no opposition. Who, after all, is against creativity? (Well, perhaps certain members of the United States Congress, but we will leave that for another column.) Who does not wish to see our children flourish? Who can resist a good joke at the expense of college professors, who make such delicious targets? His line about faculty members treating their bodies as vehicles to carry their heads from meeting to meeting is one that I can assure you I will steal.

Read the full essay >>