Creativity as a citizenship tool – eTwinning conference workshop

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At the very beginning of this workshop Vincenzo Bianca asked all the participants to tell a “cliché” about their country that is not true.

There we learnt for example that Portugal is not in Spain, Poland is not near North Pole, not all Dutch girls all tall, it is not always sunny in Malta, or Greeks don’t eat always eat moussaka or dance sirtaki. Without even noticing the participants were already reflecting what others think about their country and people and we were challenging those stereotypes.

How to deliver a citizen message to a selected audience?

The speaker presented then a method of “triple consistency” that includes three points: Media, Message and Public. If you want to get your piece of information through, all these points need to be taken into account. For example if you wish to inform youngsters of 14 years old about the dangers of smoking, traditional newspaper may not be the best possible media for it.

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How creative are we and how are we creative?

Many people tend to think they are not creative, so the first step is to convince yourself that you are creative! There are also different types of creativity. For example one person may be good in an exercise to imagine as many different ways as possible of a pile of bricks. Another person may be better in visual exercise then they need to complete a figure and invent as many new figures as possible. Creativity and originality is always also something in comparison to others. Working in groups also usually increases the level of creativity.

All the participants got the exercise their creativity with little tasks one of them being “how to catch a fox with 9 objects”. None of the objects were of course usual for catching a fox!

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Citizen creative process

Vincenzo presented the “citizen creative process” that starts when there is an unsatisfactory situation that an individual or a group of people is facing. The unsatisfactory situation is identified and it is broken down to issues (questions). Next, the group needs to generate as many ideas as possible to tackle the problem(s) and the ideas can be as crazy as possible (e.g. through brainstorming). Next the group needs to look at the ideas and evaluate them to see what could work out. When the right ideas as chosen they need to be diffused and communicated for example through a campaign.

How to do a real brainstorming – CQFD

The last exercise was about brainstorming. The following four rules should be followed: No Censorship can be applied, the more ideas the better (Quantity), it needs to be Fun so crazy ideas are welcome, and Developing ideas based on others’ ideas. The groups selected different topics and carried out an express brainstorming to think of possible solutions. However, in the real life brainstorming and creativity in general requires TIME so that all the ideas can have space to emerge and develop.

Reporting by: Elina Jokisalo (European Schoolnet)

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