By Kathryn Picardo
One of the most dynamic events of the College’s Community Learning Day was Artie Isaac’s lecture on “Pursuing Innovation at TCNJ.” On Wednesday, Oct. 5, Isaac came well-equipped to give such a lecture, having taught classes like Personal Creativity and Innovation at Ohio State and Strategy, Creativity and Ethics in Marketing at the Columbus College of Art and Design. Isaac described his job as “corporate brainstorming that creates new products and saves ailing businesses.”
His talk, however, focused on how to apply creativity as a student at the College.
Issac defined creativity as a way to keep ourselves sharp, which could be “just thinking, hearing new thoughts, and challenging your ideas.” To Isaac, creativity is just another obligation — like personal fitness, it “requires time, energy and intentionality to make sure that things don’t stay stagnant.” His number one rule in pursuing creativity is to break conventions. In accordance with the college atmosphere, Isaac cited Chipotle as an example for its concept of using locally grown products.
Later in the lecture, Isaac discussed failure. To Isaac, failure is just another way of saying unintentionally brilliant ideas, and he held firm to the belief that “anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.”
His final piece of advice was to turn off the TV and cease watching the lives of others pan out, because, after all, he said, “was Mother Theresa upset that she missed the last episode of ‘24’?”
Isaac’s personality and ease on stage immediately made the audience receptive. He was thoroughly engaging, often posing questions directly to the audience and making remarks about their reactions. There was no script and no monotony to the lecture.
Following the lecture in Kendall Hall, Isaac headed an interactive workshop on Creativity and Innovation in Armstrong Hall.
Isaac’s visit headlined the College’s Community Learning Day, which is part of an effort to enhance the intellectual community here. Community Learning Days have historically been a way to promote higher thinking among college students.
This year, the theme that the Cultural and Intellectual Community Program Council chose was “innovation.”
This past summer’s reading assignment for incoming freshmen, “The Victorian Internet” by Tom Standage, reflected this theme. Like Isaac’s lecture, the book focused on experimental designs and new ideas. Other events scheduled for the remainder of this year will follow along with this theme as well.