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As we have heard so many times, the events of 2020 have been unprecedented. When Bob Dylan sang “For the times they are a-changin’’ in 1961, he could never have envisaged the degree of change we have experienced in this year alone. People respond in different ways when faced with a challenge, and in the face of COVID-19, people responded with creativity. It’s important to acknowledge good news when it happens. This week on School Stream, we’re celebrating the creativity boom of recent months with feel-good stories of people taking a different approach to bust the boredom and change lives. 

We value schools. We want to help keep your community connected. Watch a quick demonstration of School Stream in action or keep reading for our round-up of stories about the rebirth of creativity in the pandemic.

Why is Creativity Important?

The word creative comes from the Latin ‘creo’, meaning “to create or make”. We probably think of creativity most commonly in terms of the arts; things like music, video games, books and movies. But creativity is even bigger than that. Creativity – the ability to generate and apply new ideas in different contexts and seeing existing situations in a new ways – is one of the 21st century skills considered vital if we want to be ready for a digital and fast evolving economy.  After seeing the raft of responses to the challenges presented by COVID-19, we’re already looking in pretty good shape on that front.

Creativity to the Rescue

During the pandemic, businesses were forced to find new ways to operate, people were forced to find new ways to socialise and schools were forced to find new ways to educate. A surge in creative thinking solved many of “The New Normal’s” day-to-day problems. 

Making your Own Fun

With our real-life social lives on hold, people looked to new and creative ways to bust the boredom at home. Not that boredom is always a bad thing. If necessity is the mother of invention, then boredom is the mother of creativity. Boredom is a signal that we need some change and it is in this space where creative thinking emerges. So with many people stuck at home with naught to do, it’s not too surprising that creativity flourished. Bin Isolation Outings where people dressed up in costume to take the bins out each week became a global, viral sensation. We saw kids creating dance and comedy videos on TikTok and, ‘surfing’ in their driveways with the help of big blue tarps and a skateboard. Families danced together at Kitchen Discos via social media, there were choirs in the streets and neighbours toasting at happy hour drinks with the help of long bamboo poles. Video conferencing got a workout too, as meetings, graduation ceremonies, date nights and even weddings went digital. It seems that where there’s a will, there’s a (creative) way.

We Can Make It

Many manufacturers turned their hands, and their factories, to something new and got creative to support the community during the peak of quarantine. With hand sanitiser in short supply, everyone from your local pharmacist, luxury perfume houses and even Shane Warne were suddenly producing hand sanitiser to fill the gap left by such extraordinary demand. In an effort to make up for the shortfall in hospital-grade protective equipment, many fashion brands rearranged their supply chain in order to produce protective equipment for hospital staff. Other local companies have also turned their attention to making ventilators and other essential medical equipment. And there’s more than one story of teenagers using their 3D printers to make PPE

With Creative Minds and Generous Hearts

The outpouring of goodwill and gratitude for frontline workers and the vulnerable in our communities is one of the real good news story of 2020. With creative minds and generous hearts, people rallied to support each other during the tough times. You may have heard for the group ‘RVs for MDs’. It started in the US and has since spread across the country and all the way to Australia. The group connects first responders and medical staff with peoples’ unused campers and RVs so they can self-quarantine close to their families while working. People looked out for each other. One innovation was restaurants feeding healthcare staff via community donations and a crowd-sourcing campaigns to buy frontline staff a coffee. This creative approach kept restaurants and cafes afloat, ensured weary hospital staff were well fed and empowered people who wanted to support frontline workers. It’s the definition of creative thinking in action.

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