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Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2009/11/19 - Marci Segal, Creativityland, Inc. president, and co-founder of World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21 (WCIW), received the Creative Studies Alumni Foundation Achievement Award from the International Center for Studies in Creativity (ICSC).
World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15-21 began as a small idea among four Canadians in 2002 that has since grown to be celebrated in more than 40 countries in businesses, schools, communities and homes.
Creativity Specialist Marci Segal, of Toronto, Canada, originator of the idea for the world event, received accolades from her alma mater at the State University of New York College at Buffalo on November 12, 2009 in recognition of her efforts to keep the creativity conversation going. Segal was lauded extending creativity beyond the realm of arts and sciences and tirelessly striving to keep doors open, so that people all over the world can have confidence, competence, comfort and be committed to unleashing their creativity to make the world a better place, and to make their place in the world better, too.
"It's fascinating what happens in workplaces when the week is celebrated for the purpose of giving permission to unleash creative potential," Segal says. Some organizations allow employees an afternoon to decorate their offices, or bring in speakers, hold idea sessions, and contests that shake up normal thinking. While immediate results from participating may not be evident, reports from organizations such as media agency phd Canada and Johnson and Johnson consumer products offices worldwide report residual benefit through improved morale, heightened engagement, and motivation to move new ideas forward.
"We hear reports of how refreshed, motivated and inspired people become when they are given opportunity to express their creativity in ways that support and are not directly linked to a business outcome,” Segal said.
Megan Mitchell, Co-chair of the Masters Certification Program in Applied Innovation Management at the Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto, Canada and former Director of Leadership Development and Innovation, Johnson & Johnson Inc. enthusiastically agrees. “Our employee surveys conducted after the close of our World Creativity and Innovation Week activities show a sharp increase in engagement and work satisfaction.”
Segal says she will continue to advocate for deliberate use of creativity, encouraging people to participate so that the celebration becomes an annual tradition much like Mother's Day. "It's a truly human celebration when you think of it," she said. "WCIW is open to everyone with no limits to age, sex, country, religion, education, vocation, you name it. There is only one condition for participating, though - do no harm."
Segal is the first Canadian to hold both the undergraduate and graduate training accreditation from the ICSC. Training which, twenty-five years ago, was considered a gaff. "When I'd tell people in Toronto about my education, they'd scoff. Potential employers often responded with, "They'll give you a degree for anything in the United States, won't they?" Attitudes toward creativity competencies have changed since she began her studies in 1977. Today there are at least 30 creativity and/or innovation degree and certificate programs at institutions of higher learning throughout the world.
After holding various posts in the Canadian federal government, Goldfarb Consultants, Pollara Research, and the Foote, Cone and Belding advertising agency, Segal launched Creativityland, Inc. (creativityland.net) a creativity and innovation consultancy to develop creativity competencies in organizational settings providing keynotes, training, and program facilitation so leaders learn how to generate, receive and leverage the new thinking critical for business innovation.
The Alumni Award presented last week acknowledged Segal’s other contributions to the creativity field as well, including her books written relating creativity to personality style, dispelling the myth that only some people have creative capacity. Segal also sits on the board of the American Creativity Association.
Photo available on request.