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By: Morgan Potter

Many of us acknowledge the role of creative thinking in advancing a society. Without innovation we wouldn’t have technology, art, science, and many other things that have made the world the way that we know it. We know the value of creativity in theory, but how well do we put this into practice? Is the word ‘creativity’ simply tossed around in business, politics and other major industries as a buzzword? We have become intoxicated by money and fancy political patter, when what we need is creativity and innovation to bring about change.

Creativity has been sterilized by our neoliberal society. In many cases nowadays, instead of creativity and innovative thought being valued for their progressive ideas, they are valued for how well they can sell products. This financially centered world that we are living in is toxic for everyone, especially for students coming into the workforce for the first time. Our priorities have been established for us: money first, enjoyment second. Student debt is the killer of creativity because it forces us into jobs that we are not passionate about in order to make enough money to pay off our education. It’s no wonder that change and innovation are so difficult to achieve in our society when the fresh perspectives of university graduate are being shut out. The importance placed on the university and on achievement in general has caused a glut of overqualified job-seekers.

As a result of this, what it means to have a career has also changed. A career is just a way to make money and not for self-fulfillment or to make changes in the world. When this is our mindset, we know that change and hiring people with new perspectives into the workforce is more important than ever.  We need to value creativity more than we currently do, and not be content with stagnancy.

History has shown us the value of creativity and innovative thoughts to foster critical, forward thinking societies. We understand the need for change in order to create more equality amongst people, end global warming and a host of other critical issues in our world that need to be resolved. So, what can we do? We need to prove how important creativity and innovation are to us and change the way that we look at them collectively. Creativity should be as important as literacy, and it can be, but we need to work towards giving it this status. This is an issue that pertains to all of us and not just to people who consider themselves creative.

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