Attending the conference in the capacity of AIR representatives, Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva and Sally Sheinman report.

“The conference opened with a presentation by Edward de Bono on the Creativity of Lateral Thinking. de Bono is a physician, author, inventor, and consultant best known as the originator of the term lateral thinking and a proponent of the deliberate teaching of thinking as a subject in schools. He is regarded by many to be the leading authority in the world in the field of creative thinking and direct teaching of thinking as a skill.

“Lateral thinking treats creativity as the behaviour of information in a self-organising information system – such as the neural networks in the brain. He is an extremely interesting and compelling speaker. His Six Thinking Hats approach offers a simple, effective technique that helps productivity. Team members can learn how to separate thinking into six distinct categories. Each category is identified with its own coloured metaphorical ‘thinking hat’. By mentally wearing and switching hats, participants can easily focus or redirect thoughts, the conversation, or the meeting.

“Within the Six Thinking Hats (or modes), the White Hat calls for information known or needed, the Red Hat signifies feelings, hunches and intuition, the Black Hat is judgment – devil’s advocate or why something may not work, the Yellow Hat symbolises brightness and optimism, the Green Hat focuses on creativity – possibilities, alternatives and new ideas and the Blue Hat is used to manage the thinking process.

“Second speaker Philippe Kern, founder and Managing Director of the KEA Institute has twenty years’ experience in the world of creative industries. He is a specialist in copyright, anti-trust and trade law. He has led a range of research and strategy programmes at European level on creative issues, notably for the European Commission and the European Parliament. He is advising numerous public and private bodies on the formulation of a European strategy including access to finance.

“Other speakers were Edward Scicluna MEP Malta, Maria Badia Cutchet MEP Spain, Cecilia Keaveney Irish Senator from Donegal and a cultural representative at the Council of Europe, Caramitur actor, director and former Minister for Culture Romania, Daniel Zimakoff and Ida-Marie Rendtorff, authors from Denmark and Pia Raug, Vice Chairperson of Koda and the Danish Author Rights Society.”

This conference marked AIR’s full participation in ECA as a key European network for arts professionals.

Download the full conference report at November 2009