In September, a UK colleague, Toby Moores, launched the Creative Coffee Club in two venues, one in London and one in Leicester (Toby is a visiting professors a DeMontfort University there: see prior blog post).
Toby and I have been having virtual discussions about innovation and creativity for the last year, since the first Office 2.0 conference, over Skype in the intervening months into this year's conference. I've been blogging and musing on the topic, but Toby recently waxed eloquent on the topc, so here's some comments from him.
At Office 2.0 I proposed CCC as an example of a new breed of infrastructure (in the roads, rail and web sense of the word). The creative tragedy of the commons is that it is easier NOT to create within enterprise, and NOT to share between enterprises. For me this club has a business purpose for its members (including academia) in that it is a creative and conversational sandbox away from the constraints of measurement and results. It is also a regular, osmotic exposure to the wider creative process. This supports, but is far more powerful than, a conference, off-site or 3 day workshop.
As we have discussed before, flipchart tearsheets go to die in handbag hell and most of the learnings die with them. Creativity needs to be part of the rhythm of our lives. CCC wouldn't exist without social software to drive it but we have demonstrated a great deal of pent up demand for this meetup in just five days. I'd like to push this thinking out to the Irregulars and similar groups. I am pleased to see that many of them have joined up already but I'd like to capitalise on their curiosity. This will work because the word is spread by respected, connected individuals. I'd like to start moving from awareness to advocacy across our networks."
The first Palo Alto CCC will meet at the Coupa Cafe at 538 Ramona St. (Wireless access included with your cup of java) from 10 am - noon. At 11 am, we will connect to the Wiki Wednesday group in London since many of those participants are also in the London CCC. The idea is to convene these sessions bi-weekly and as Toby says, support the notion of "creativity as habit."
This creativity notion is not confined to high tech, but we hope to get creative arts, academics, government, into the conversation.