This week I had the opportunity to participate in a creative problem solving process designed to inspire a diverse group of community stakeholders to work together to build an Economic Action Plan for the Town where I live.
Our session was an official “Special Meeting of Council” like none other I have ever personally had the opportunity to attend. All participants actively collaborated utilizing the format of a hands-on workshop based on the discussion model known as “HOW MIGHT WE”.
This problem solving process was developed by Burlington based, international consulting firm, Basadur Applied Creativity . I invite you to read more about the methodology here: www.basadur.com.
We were challenged to view the current economic development situation from a deliberately neutral position. If we found ourselves unable to defer judgment, we were asked to do our best to suspend it long enough to explore possiblities.
And explore we did!
One of the most often mentioned term was the word “CRINK”. The acronym stands for CReative, INnovative, Knowledge-based - as coined by Canadian Author and Municipal Planning Expert, Gord Hume in his book “Cultural Planning for Creative Communities. According to Hume the phrase ‘CRINK economy’ represents the new economy that is now emerging for municipalities and the global economy.
During our session reference was also made to the work of Richard Florida and the evolution of the concept of “Creative Cities”.
It was certainly an evening of intense deliberation and idea sharing. For the most part the direction was lead by Town Council members who very well versed regarding both the mechanics of the discussion model and these current trends in cultural planning.
I look forward to our next gathering of the minds when we will work through the next series of steps designed to move us towards a fully defined action plan and implementation strategy.