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Creativity is the Currency of the New Millennium

Rodney Hill, Texas A&M University

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“I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success.” (Nikola Tesla)

“The University will be the least prepared to prepare you for a world of change!” (Paul Tinari) The University of tomorrow will not resemble the university of today. The present education system retards the ability for students to create knowledge. “Despite constantly accelerating social and technological change, the paradigm for education has remained essentially static.” (John Lundt)

When there was a surplus of a certain crop, the Department of Agriculture paid farmers not to grow that particular crop. Maybe the Department of Education should pay certain teachers not to teach reproducible knowledge! We are leaving the Knowledge Age and entering the Innovation Age where the students of today will experience more new inventions in their lifetime than all the discoveries from the beginning of recorded history to the present. We are on the crest of the wave of a tsunami of accelerating change! The World Future Society stated that two thirds of the jobs that will be available in 2020 have not been invented yet. In the 21st Century as knowledge workers become ubiquitous, you will be competing with the world for any information that can be reproduced. Knowledge Creators are the only people whose jobs cannot be outsourced.
     “The person that cannot create and produce knowledge in the 21st Century will be destined to live with the equivalency of a 20th Century minimum wage.” (Bruce LaDuke) Institutions that are fixated on rigid curriculums will become lower tier universities. The top tier universities currently are ranked on how well they train knowledge workers. While the majority of universities proudly reproduce knowledge workers, future progress in the world will depend on the knowledge creators. The institutions that do not nurture knowledge creators will become lower tier universities. Will universities receive accreditation based on the numbers of knowledge creators they graduate? The new knowledge they generate? The number of new domains they create? The number of a country’s population engaged in knowledge creation will determine the future economic health of a country. Business Week devoted their August issue to Creativity and said that creativity is now the core competency of business. Creativity is the currency of the new Millennium.

Author Bio(s)

Rodney Hill holds the University Professorship in Teaching Excellence at Texas A&M University and is on the Board of the Institute for Applied Creativity. He received the 2006 Champion of Creativity Award at the American Creativity Association International Conference and has received numerous college, university and national teaching awards.
Professor Hill served several years as a board member for the American Creativity Association and has given papers at their annual conferences since 1993 including two keynote addresses. For nine years, he delivered papers on creativity, education and future studies at the World Future Society.