Category Archives: Inspiration

The power of YouTube

I finally took time to watch this TED Talk featuring Eric Whitacre, a composer who conducted a virtual choir through YouTube. He recently released a new work (on YouTube, of course!) called Sleep, which features over 2,000 voices and is definitely worth watching.

As much as the works of music, I love how this virtual choir project demonstrates the power of social technology to create beauty and community.

If you don’t have time to watch the full TED Talk, at least check out “Lux Aurumque” and “Sleep“.

(ht Greg Bolt)

Tools for Schools (and Churches)

I loved this Fast Company article about Tools for Schools, a program that integrates design-based problem solving into the daily curriculum.

Students were challenged to design the classroom of the future. In their classes, they researched and tinkered with desk, chair, and locker designs. They prototyped with pipe cleaners and cardstock, explored material costs, and put together concept pitches.

I especially love two aspects about this program.

  1. Students were given a meaningful project that’s tangible and more relevant to their everyday lives than a standardized test.
  2. The teachers and partnering businesses took seriously the students’ work and discovered innovative ideas they may not have come up with on their own. Like this desk with a backpack hook and interchangeable inserts for different classes:

From the article:

“Clearly, the project showed that kids as young as 13 can grasp the rigorous process that designers undertake. It also reflected the fact that students are enthusiastic learners — of math, science, and writing — when those subjects are integrated into a project they care about.”

What would it look like to invite our faith communities to design the worship space of the future? What would it look like to rethink how we compartmentalize our ministries? What would it look like to empower and learn from the young people in our congregations?

Don’t miss the article and the photo gallery.
(image: Fast Company)

John Cleese & Cultivating Creativity

I’m notorious for being too connected to my laptop (running multiple applications and bouncing between at least 5 tabs in my browser). But this often means that I get drawn in by emails, alerts, and checklists and don’t take time to process what I’m encountering, consider my own perspective, or actually make something.

So I’m scheduling out some “unplugged” time each day when I shut down my laptop and block out time to think, synthesize, reflect, and create something original.

And if I need a little more support breaking my addiction, maybe I should invest $10 for some Freedom.

So a question for you: how do you cultivate creative space?

(via Neuronarrative)

Smash Journal

I’ve been drooling over the SMASH Journal.

I am a scrapbooker and love collecting ideas, inspiration, photos, and random bits and pieces from my life. While I love my small Moleskine journals and carry them most places with me, the glue/pen combo that slides right into a loop on the journal is so smart.

Come April, maybe I’ll be carrying one of these around. (Or maybe two if I can’t decide between the Mod and Doodle styles.)

More at the SMASH blog.

Linkabout: February 19 Edition

Links to five things that have been inspiring me this week.

In no particular order:

  1. Innovation/LeadershipFast Company Design lifts up Apple and IKEA and offers an argument for why designers–not users–should drive innovation.
  2. WellnessGood.is reports that youth in a Naperville, Illinois, high school who participated in physical activity just before classes improved reading and math scores. What if we had fitness classes before
  3. EducationRSA Animate offers a video illustration of one of Sir Ken Robinson’s talks on how our education systems are killing creativity.
  4. Technology/Youth Ministry: danah boyd writes about teens, Twitter, and managing privacy in public. A favorite line from the article: “Access to content is not the same as access to interpretation.”
  5. Ministry: Rachel Held Evans reflects on the Epic Fail Pastors’ Conference and encourages pastors to tell the truth and be more transparent with their own struggles.