How do you engineer creativity in the classroom?

21 June 2022

Fresh from US-based women academic network conference WiBE, Claudia Monteiro reflects on the power of creativity in the classroom.

It’s good to be back - a line that we’ve been using a lot these days as conference season is truly and well upon us.  

We’ve been catching up with friends and acquaintances in higher education over the last month, and attended the first ever WiBE physical conference, a US-based network of women academics. 

At CarringtonCrisp we often report on some of most sought-after graduate skills, and creativity is one of those attributes' consistently referred by employers as very desirable.  

But how do we foster creativity and innovation at business schools? 

This was one of the recurrent questions at this year’s WiBe gathering and part of the answer comes with the old adage of training the trainer in methods and tools that unlock students’ thinking. 

We kicked off with a creativity art walk around Washington DC’s Dupont Circle hosted by Nick McGuigan, Associate Professor Monash University's Department of Accounting, who utilises art practice to foster right-brain thinking in accountancy students. McGuigan had some questions to get delegates energised into experimenting with art practice outside the classroom...

  • What can organisational design learn from ecosystems in nature?  
  • What is is about galleries & museums that makes them safe spaces to have difficult conversations about some of the most divisive and traumatic issues of our times? 
  • And why taking discussions out of the classroom sharpens our attention, and allows for broader thinking - as was made evident by a Metro-stop-turned-art-space at Dupont Circle.  

The conference ended with a 3 hour workshop on creativity and innovation led by Margaret Andrews, a leading force at the MYLO Centre at Harvard University. The time flew by as Margaret encouraged us to discover our inner creative leader and shared some tools that motivate and energise those around us towards ideation, improv-led thinking and problem-solving, all roads leading to innovation.  

There is a vibrant energy to WiBE; plenty of peer-to-peer support and practice sharing.  

And here’s to meeting face to face! 



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