EDRA45NewOrleans is only weeks away and I’m excited. Spring seems to have finally arrived in Wisconsin, and just like the buds on the trees, or the first few leaves from tulip bulbs pushing through the surface that are soon to be indulging in the nutrients of the earth and the energy of the sun, I am eager for my seasonal replenishment at the EDRA conference.
This semester, I had the privilege of launching a new course on creativity and innovation to business students. During this course—the goal of which is to enhance creative thinking while also working to solve real world problems—many of the lessons reminded me of how EDRA offers a fantastic forum for stimulating creative thinking.
First, we are diverse. While many of us come from the U.S., we also have strong and growing international representation. We are interdisciplinary – it would be extraordinarily challenging to find either a membership to an association or attendance at a conference that is represented by people from as many different disciplines. We are academicians and practitioners, students and experts. This diversity in membership is as fertile as lasagna gardening. The diversity of EDRA exposes us to different ways of thinking, different knowledge bases, and different problems to solve.
Second, we are friendly but unafraid to engage in constructive debate. The respect we share for each other and our works is also what motivates us to challenge each other to do better, be smarter, and solve the next set of challenging problems.
Third, you would be hard-pressed to find another group whose members are as willing to meet and discuss topics of interest, regardless of status, university affiliation, level of experience, etc. This “level playing field” and recognition that good ideas can come from anywhere is another key to the success of our organization.
Fourth, we are socially minded by nature. We are explicitly interested in the study and practice of designing a world that is enhanced for humans, while also being sensitive to sustainability and our connection to Earth.
Finally, we are passionate. With great passion comes great commitment to solving important but very challenging problems. We will unify behind those projects in which we believe. This unity allows us to pool our diverse resources together to do great things.
On that note, I have a few requests:
- Seek your creative replenishment at the EDRA conference
- Contribute and engage to offer your special brand of nutrients to the soils of EDRA
- Partner up with a diverse group to solve a problem you are passionate about
I’m looking forward to growing with you this year.