It happens here: Consumer-centric Innovation in Charlotte and beyond

Creativity + business: A trend in NC? by Nheeda Enriquez

Thanks to the friendly folks at Charlotte’s Arts & Science council, I learned about some recent initiatives worth sharing:

The topic for the Institute of Emerging Issues‘ conference up in Raleigh this year is “Creativity, inc.” and among their keynote speakers is one of my favorite authors, Dan Pink, who wrote A Whole New Mind, which describes a future designed by left+right thinkers.

photo via the Institute for Emerging Issues

The forum is February 8-9, 2010 and you can register here starting Dec. 1.  (Incidentally, to encourage attendance from the Charlotte area,the ASC is offering partial scholarships to the first 20 that send them registration confirmation.)

Also, the North Carolina Arts Council released their report Creativity Means Business back in June.  They claim that the value of the creative sector in the state is over $40 billion and makes up just under 6% of the workforce.  Why is this important?  The study suggests that regions with a high proportion of creative workers attract more visitors and new residents, which in turn means more money.

Lessons from a Chicago Innovation Summit by Nheeda Enriquez

2510458878_6e28d9ba64_mI just spent the weekend visiting family in Chicago, reminiscing over my time in graduate school at the Institute of Design.  This past May, the school was integral in putting on an Innovation Summit, bringing together innovation celebrities and city business leaders, including BusinessWeek‘s innovation guru, Bruce Nussbaum, Steelcase Chairman Robert Pew, and Exelon CEO, John Rowe.

I can’t wait for the day Charlotte hosts a conference like this.  Design thinking in business is just starting to seep its way into the city’s fabric, especially with programs like the Innovation Institute at the McColl Center and (hopefully in the) the newly forming Creative Industries task force at the ASC.

Unfortunately, I didn’t attend the Innovation Summit in person, but here’s a great place to catch all of the video.  If you’ve got a half-hour to be inspired, be sure to watch Doblin‘s Larry Keeley; his classes at the Institute of Design were challenging and thought-provoking, and I am always re-energized by his presentations.