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Wayne Morris – Creativity Taranaki – New Zealand


This week I spoke with Wayne Morris of Future Edge a Creativity consultant from New Plymouth in the Taranaki Region of New Zealand.

Wayne is proposing a Creativity Conference for their region in 2013.

The initiative is seeking to establish a Think tank of big picture people, realists as well as detail people to brainstorm the following:

Could Taranaki host an international conference on creativity?

Now before you get all ‘arty farty’ let me explain what I mean by creativity. It is the process by which desired results are made real. The creative process is the most successful process for accomplishment in history. In today’s world creativity is fundamentally important for our personal, social, economic and cultural well-being.

The most important developments in civilization have come about through the creative process. In the words of Edward De Bono ‘There is no doubt that creativity is the most important resource of all. Without creativity there would be no progress and we would be forever repeating the same pattern.’

For the last 5 years I have been invited to speak at international creativity conferences in various parts of the world. Each time I am asked why New Zealand doesn’t host such a gathering. There is a perception that we are a ‘creative’ nation internationally.

But what, I hear you say, has creativity got to with me?

“The next ten years will require people to think and work across boundaries into new zones that are totally different from their areas of expertise. They will not only have to cross those boundaries, but they will also have to identify opportunities and make connections between them.”    Clement Monk  Designer
“Many engineering deadlocks have been broken by people who are not engineers at all. This is because perspective is more important than IQ. The ability to make big leaps of thought is a common denominator among the originators of breakthrough ideas. Usually this ability resides in people with very wide backgrounds, multidisciplinary minds, and a broad spectrum of experiences.” Nicholas Negroponte  MIT

And in the words of Sir Paul Callaghan.

“ No one owes us a living. No one cares a damn if we feed ourselves falsehoods about imagined superiority. We are the only ones who suffer. Other countries are beautiful too. Other countries are clean. Other countries are clever and innovative. Other countries are great at sport. We have very little to teach the world. We have much to learn from the world. We need to discover what works for us, what gives us our global advantage. Find what is best in our society and nurture it. Find what we do badly and correct it. And most importantly of all, grow out of adolescence into adulthood. Avoid the self-serving myths, the phoney shallow game playing, the selective thinking that blights our ability to progress. Face up to our problems, solve them and move on. Then we can truly stand tall.”

And from Sir Ken Robinson:

“The challenges we currently face are without precedent. More people live on this planet now than at any other time in history. The world’s population has doubled in the past 30 years. We’re facing an increasing strain on the world’s natural resources. Technology is advancing at a headlong rate of speed. It’s transforming how people work, think, and connect. It’s transforming our cultural values.
If you look at the resulting strains on our political and financial institutions, on health care, on education, there really isn’t a time in history where you could look back and say, “Well, of course, this is the same thing all over again.” It isn’t. This is really new, and we’re going to need every ounce of ingenuity, imagination, and creativity to confront these problems.
Also, we’re living in times of massive unpredictability. The kids who are starting school this September will be retiring—if they ever do—around 2070. Nobody has a clue what the world’s going to look like in five years, or even next year actually, and yet it’s the job of education to help kids make sense of the world they’re going to live in.
You know, for my generation—I was born in 1950 [me too!] —we were told that if you worked hard, went to college, and got a regular academic degree, you’d be set for life. Well, nobody thinks that’s true anymore, and yet we keep running our school systems as though it were. So many people have degrees now that an individual degree isn’t worth a fraction of what it used to be worth. So being creative is essential to us; it’s essential for our economy.
I work a lot with Fortune 500 companies, and they’re always saying, “We need people who can be innovative, who can think differently.” If you look at the mortality rate among companies, it’s massive. America is now facing the biggest challenge it’s ever faced—to maintain its position in the world economies. All these things demand high levels of innovation, creativity, and ingenuity. At the moment, instead of promoting creativity, I think we’re systematically educating it out of our kids. “

Creativity and its partners – imagination and innovation – are essential to our personal, educational, social, economic and cultural well-being.

Why Taranaki?

Why not? Creativity is not just the domain of the big cities – our farming sector; our engineering sector; our creative industries – are some of the most innovative in the world. Our arts communities are as vibrant as any in New Zealand. The Taranaki environment has lots to offer. New Plymouth has won many accolades – so why wouldn’t people want to come?

The current thinking:

  • 3 days in March 2013 leading up to WOMAD (World of Music Arts & Dance)
  • National and international key note speakers
  • A range of workshops covering business, education and the arts and crossing disciplines
  • Keeping it relatively small [max 200 people]
  • Time to explore creative Taranaki – businesses, tourism, arts and culture, education

Who am I?

Wayne Morris, Taranaki born and bred and lived here most of my life

  •  Have run own business consultancy for the last 20 years working across a range of business sectors e.g. dairy, oil and gas, manufacturing etc
  • Artist and musician
  • Regular guest at international creativity conferences

Your commitment:

An initial 2 hour brainstorm to see if the concept has legs then a discussion about whether you would like to be involved in making it happen. Date and venue yet to be finalised.

Contact Details:
Wayne Morris        06 753 5914
027 242 1580

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3 Responses to Wayne Morris – Creativity Taranaki – New Zealand

  1. Alan

    December 10, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    listening to your first podcast.

    great mate.

    will come

    let me know how I can help between now and March 2013?

  2. Bill Jarrard

    December 10, 2011 at 7:01 pm


    Jennifer and I will definitely support you with this, promoting to our 11,000 strong database and on our websites, and also happy to speak if that suits.

    Count us in.


  3. Karin Vagiste

    December 24, 2014 at 7:45 am


    I loved your definition of creativity. How can I learn more about your conference in New Zealand – when is it in 2015?

    Thanks for your kind consideration,