Einstein once defined creativity as intelligence having fun. Unfortunately, intelligence is often trained to be more logical than creative. Recently, I spotted an interesting new project in Brighton that used Einstein’s definition to create something rather clever.
I have always believed that everyone has a creative streak in them that could be put to good use to develop solutions to problems. These may be new business ideas, social enterprises or solutions within businesses.
However, all to often people don’t pursue these ideas either because they are afraid to move away from the established norms, maybe because they see the change as too risky or because they see the solution as being too large for one person.
So what if it were possible to release those inhibitions, give people a chance to articulate their ideas and get feedback from others. Maybe it would be possible for other people to help improve the idea, or even to find potential collaborators.
The Brighton project that I discovered was called Wonderland. When I saw it my first thought was ‘not another soft play area for kids’. Certainly the many pictures look remarkably similar to other soft play areas I have gone to with my granddaughter.
But then I spotted an interesting fact on the website. Wonderland was only for people over the age of eighteen!!
This Wonderland is much more than a soft play area for adults, although the activities do create a sense of fun as well as allowing people to be less inhibited before the work on creative ideas starts.
Wonderland starts on the premise that exploring, having fun and being creative is not something just for the under tens. Indeed it works to remind people of the sense of fun and adventure that has always been there but has been locked away by the constraints of peer norms.
But Wonderland doesn’t just give people a soft play area for the fun of playing on the apparatus. It then enables people to explore their ideas, to interact with the other people there and to find ways of moving forward with their ideas.
I have often believed that once I make an audience laugh with me we are half way to forming communications channel. Surely the same is true once you have been down the slide with someone or bounced on the trampoline. Surely trust must start to be built up once you have been helped up the climbing wall.
What Wonderland appears to do is to take all of those known skills for encouraging and developing entrepreneurship, but with the addition of activities and equipment that will help to overcome the normal shyness of a classroom based approach.
I certainly wish Wonderland every success in their new venture and cannot wait to return to Brighton to experience it. I also think it is appropriate that Wonderland should have appeared in Brighton. For it was in Sussex Square that Lewis Carroll discovered the tunnel that led from the gardens to the beach and which became the idea for the rabbit hole that took Alice to Wonderland.