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Wanna Drive Innovation? Get Curious with your Creativity!

Glass blowing at TED conference
Glass blowing on Granville Island at TED2024: The Brave and the Brilliant, on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. Vancouver, BC, Canada. Photo: Jasmina Tomic / TED

Attending TED gives you opportunities to be curious and try new things, sometimes just for fun, sometimes as a personal challenge. 

Curiosity and creativity go hand in hand, and when I saw glass blowing and blacksmithing listed as one of the many workshops offered at TED 2024, I jumped at the chance.

The glass-blowing one was so fun as you start with a blob of burning hot glass, then dip in your chosen color, pull it to create shapes as it is very malleable when hot (see video), put it back in the oven a few times and then hope it will turn out nice (you cannot see the colors when it is hot). 

Two images of singing at TED
TED2024: The Brave and the Brilliant. April 15-19, 2024, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Photo: Gilberto Tadday / TED

I also signed up for a mysterious singing activity described as an opportunity to be part of a special TED talk. It turned out to be learning to be in a chorus for the song "The Impossible Dream" and singing with Brian Stokes Mitchell in one of the four groups that were planted in the audience and started responding to his singing as a surprise for the audience.

It was fun and something I would never have dreamed of doing a year ago. I was always terrified of singing, believing for many years that I could not hear pitches well and would never be able to sing in time. 

As part of the leadership program I did two years ago, we were challenged to find an "opposite practice," I immediately thought about what I was most terrified about: singing. So I started to take singing lessons, learning that I could hear sounds well ( my teacher even said that I was one of the students most able to hear whether I was hitting the right note), but I did not know how to make sounds with my voice. 

It has been a humbling experience, but while I still often do not sing in tune, I feel more confident about my abilities, which made me willing to take risks and sing in the TED audience. It was an incredible singing experience, and I am proud of having stepped out of my comfort zone!

Curiosity is one of many driving forces behind creativity and innovation. I challenge you to try something new today. What will it be? Please share (and it will also give you accountability).


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