Next Dubai speaker

Kat Kinsella, Finding Courage: using significant life experiences for positive change

More info

March 20, 8:30am • NEST co-working space • part of a series on Courage


CreativeMornings is on the 20th of March and this is going to be another morning to not miss.


Kat Kinsella-Fernandes will be joining us for the theme COURAGE.

Tickets are live now.

What’s your story? 

When a creative block strikes or an overwhelming fear manifests, which of your life stories dominate your thoughts?

…a list of horrendous failures that way your brains and stop you from doing that thing….

Or heart-strengthening triumphs, small or large, quiet or loud, that help you breathe and take that step…?

From time to time, accessing our inner lion and quieting the brain-monkeys may take a little work.  

If a little work is needed, come to this  CreativeMorning on Finding Courage.  

We will explore  our pathways to today and it’s power over us. Using a blend of positive psychology and other approaches, let’s move towards breaking the blocks to our creativity and beyond.

Who is Kat?As a researcher, lecturer, coach, and parent, Kat Kinsella is fascinated with how our stories impact our lives for the better. Kat brings a blend of positive psychology and research approaches for everyone at CreativeMornings to access our own inner strength to our creative lives and beyond.


John Bucher Talks Curiosity

John’s talk is coming soon.

Here is the link to his Q&A where you get a sense of the morning.

By Shivani Mathur

“If we don’t feed our curiosity, we will starve it.” Says mythologist, content creator, but most prominently, in context to this feature, curiosity advocate, Dr. John Bucher. Curiosity to me, is the most paramount element in creating something worthy of being deemed even remotely genius. It’s not only what feeds the soul, it’s what fuels quite possibly, your destiny. I was 6 years old when my mother strictly told me to stay away from blades, it was the twisted (but might I add, entertaining) curiosity within me that nudged the rebel inside me and made me question “Why even? What is she on about? Let me cross-check and see if she’s even right” …and proceeded to run the blade across my finger. I underwent a deep, painful cut that troubled me for weeks after but at least my curiosity was quenched. This trait continues to follow me, it’s why I indulge in esoteric extreme sports despite not being particularly athletic or fit, hop on board with absurd last minute plans, and often take up vague, arduous projects. Despite the sometimes unpleasant consequences of my attempts to feed my curiosity, I live with zero regret, have the funniest stories to share, and surprisingly enough: more than decent accomplishments and sufficient enough stability. In the talk on the morning of 20th February, Dr. Bucher spoke about lots of themes and phenomena that ties with curiosity: storytelling, problem solving, the global patterns in storytelling that stem from similar curiosities. He shared a profound anecdote about how he finds wax museums compelling because they manage to offer metaphors that represent moments in time and also left us with something very thought provoking when he said, “Writers can learn just as much from culinary chefs as other writers.”, indicating how learning is constantly accredited to the diversity that we maintain in our curiosity, and not in set algorithms contained within curricula.
I was lucky enough to be able to have a pleasant chat with him after the talk and ask him some questions, here’s an excerpt.You pursued your phD in mythology, which you yourself too admitted is an obscure discipline. What attracted you to mythology? My interest in mythology really it can be traced back to storytelling and story itself. I am interested in a vast number of things and it became difficult for me sometimes to narrow down what I wanted as a job description for myself. And so eventually I stopped looking at my life that way and so what I did instead was I began to look at my life like an ecosystem. And at the centre of this is story. I have this mountain range of documentary film making, I have this river of writing and books, I have this desert area where I work with theme parks, I have this jungle where I work with escape rooms, and so all these things make up an ecosystem around story telling for me where I don’t have to be interested in just one aspect of story, I can have all these many interests. Now mythology is one of the most significant parts of my ecosystem and the reason I became interested in it is because of my interest in psychology. I’m really interested in why and how human beings do what they do and so that psychology intersects with storytelling in mythology. Mythology is really the intersection of psychology and storytelling. In mythology, we study everything from fairy tales and classic myths to also theology and religious traditions, so we study in depth Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, all the religious traditions we study because we view them all through the lens of mythology. These are our stories that people use to make sense of the world and make sense of their own lives. And that was a huge interest to me because I love stories, but my favourite kind of stories were the types of stories that helped people understand something about themselves, about their role in the world and how they can make the world a better place for all of us. I’m also especially interested in stories of what are called underdogs, those that often have been at the fringes and margins of society, so I’m very interested in stories of women, minorities and people groups that have not always had the advantages as the most dominant in a group of people of a culture, so I think mythology often addresses the plight of those people groups, something that’s important to me. Even in my own country, though I am part of a people group that is dominant, I have become very aware of the privilege I enjoy as being part of that, and equality is very important to me, and I wish to use whatever privilege I have to help increase the equality of others that may not have always enjoyed that, and I think mythology speaks about that, I’ll give you one example. Every culture I’ve ever visited, has some version of the Cinderella story, the Cinderella story is an old fairytale originated in France, but every culture has some version of that story, and I think why that story, why that myth resonates with so many people is due to the fact it gives hope, that we can be at one station in life, and one day we can move to a higher station in life. I think as human we need the hope that we can move to higher stations in life and that is an innate part of being human, the desire to have a better life for our children than we did for ourselves and I think the only way we can do that is to make just a little bit of progress, make our lives a little bit better. That is really why mythology became so important to me.

You spoke about fear hindering people’s creativity. I wanted to ask you, has fear affected your own creativity before? Absolutely, fear for me often manifests itself in the fear around perfectionism. I often become afraid to start projects because I fear that they won’t be as perfect as they are in my head and that will be frustrating to me. There is an old story about a pottery class in a university. The story goes that on the first day of class the instructor divided the class in half, there were 20 people in the class, and the instructor took 10 students and put them on one side of the room, he took the other 10 and put them on the other side of the room. The instructor tells the first 10 students “I want you to spend all this year trying to make 1 perfect pot. I want you to gather together, measure research and spend as much time as possible to make one perfect pot” The other 10 students the instructor told “I want this group to make as many pots as possible, don’t worry about the quality just make as many pots as possible”. So the students focus on their projects, the first group they measure they research, they do everything they can to make the perfect pot. The second group just make pots all day long as many as they can. At the end of the year, the instructor took the first groups pot, which they had worked on all year, and still found three small blemishes in the pot. The other group, the second group, had made over 300 pots, and 5 of those were perfect. And there’s a good lesson, that sometimes we spend all our time trying to make the perfect project, the perfect piece of art, the perfect story when really the secret to overcoming the fear that surrounds that perfectionism, is creating as much work as possible and in doing that we will make pieces of work that are near perfect they are wonderful. But if we spend all our time in fear that our work will not be perfect, we waste a lot of our time that we could spend into developing ourselves as better artists.

You said as creators, it’s okay to put away your phone. In a time where google answers nearly all the questions and aids creativity, can you elaborate on why creators need to keep their phone away? I love technology, I’m a big fan of tech. However our current tech has eliminated a great deal of mystery from the world. When I was a little boy if I wanted to know about tigers, I had to ask my parents to take me to a library, I had to ask the library for books on tigers I had to read those books, I had to put in a lot of hard work, but also my imagination would fire and I would imagine things about tigers. Now the answer to any questions I may have, I can get at the drop of a hat, in my pocket, and while it can be wonderful it also eliminates much of the mystery in the world, I don’t have to imagine things about the world because I can see immediately the truth of all the details about whatever I’m imagining. For example I might have wondered how it smells inside the Taj Mahal, but now I don’t need that imagination because I can go and google how it smells inside the Taj Mahal and a thousand people would have said this is how it smells inside the Taj Mahal. And so, it eliminates that mystery that bit of work I think that we have to do as creative is find how to employ technology with its greatest effect in our lives without eliminating imagination, without eliminating mystery which are both necessary components for the highest degree of creativity. It’s not that technology is bad in itself, it’s when we become lazy and begin to rely on it that it begins to overtake our natural imaginative powers and our imagination becomes these muscles that are weak and not powerful. So don’t let technology rob us of our natural imagination and creativity that lives inside us.
In what way does story telling solve problems? I love this question. Storytelling solves problems because it’s based on how human beings solve problems within their brains. The biggest use of storytelling in solving a problem however is that human beings don’t tend to make decisions based on logic, even though we think they do, but human beings make decisions based on emotions, we make decisions based on how we feel, not what we know. We change our minds not hen we see a collection of facts, but we change our minds when we hear someone’s story. So, if I disliked a certain group of people, you could present all the facts to me as to why that group is people are valuable or worthy, but it wouldn’t change my mind. But meeting and getting to know one person from that people group has more power to change my mind on how I feel about that group of people more than anything else. I believe that offering the world better stories, and helping the world to tell a better stories is one of the best thing we can do as creatives. There have been many many examples throughout history on how a single story has changed an entire culture in a short amount of time.

Why do you think we owe it to ourselves to feed our curiosity?

Our curiosity is what provides a pathway to meaning in our lives, if we are not curious about how the world works, how things work, our lives become boring, they become meaningless. And much violence comes out of a feeling of meaninglessness, it comes out of a feeling of purposelessness, and there’s not much good that comes out of that feeling that there is no meaning to our lives. So, curiosity is necessary to help us I’ve out the best version of ourselves, and we owe it to not only ourselves to be curious but to all those who are living around in this world with us. If we are trying as  human beings to make this world a better place we need every voice, we need every person and we need every person being the best version of themselves they can be to accomplish that.

We had a great morning with John and an eclectic mix of professionals and students.


There is always time for a selfie.


The coffee is the 1st place the morning people head for.


Morning people smile a lot!


We loved having an opportunity to speak to John after the event. And as you see from the image (look close) we wanted to make sure we had enough water for John.


ANXIETY is a huge part of our lives and how we deal with it can mean the difference between success or…

By Shivani Mathur

Anxiety is a phenomenon that affects us all in some degree, shape or form. For some, it’s a momentary reflex both caused by, and a consequence of – fear. It’s described by many to be a feeling of utmost suffocation, the epitome of nerves, and often accompanied by accelerated heart rate, nausea, and overall discomfort. For many, anxiety is an illness that plagues them so deeply, it manifests itself in their everyday life. It becomes an embodiment of a large chunk of their intrapersonal challenges and hinders them from attaining their full potential in both their micro and macro endeavors. For centuries, decades, and years,Anxiety and Mental Illness have been almost taboo subjects.More often than not, it would make you the subject of petty whispers to so much as acknowledge and validate these issues, let alone proclaim that you possess any form of anxiety disorder or really any mental illness. Albeit not a whole lot has changed on that front, there have emerged within corners of society, schools, workplaces, families, large groups of people who have started to educate themselves, and started to seem anxiety and mental illness to be equivalent to any physical ailment of illness. A lot of this is accredited to the boon that is the internet culture: while there is a plethora of nastiness that exists and gains outreach via the web, so do people’s stories and experiences via blogs, podcasts, and social media, in utmost frequency and detail. This, as well as other art and media outlets (socially conscious films, television shows, articles, books, and music) on the issue being green lit, at least helps the matter to be discussed on dinner tables, offices, lunchrooms, and classrooms even if 8/10 times it’s millennials that bring up these ‘difficult’ conversations. It won’t be a millennial this time however, giving an insightful talk on the subject in the first Creative Mornings of 2018.

December is all about context!

Marcus Smith is an extreme athlete, entrepreneur, coach, context re-assignment specialist, marketing idea guy and lover of good coffee.

Whether he is creating a fitness brand, a lifestyle food brand, a clothing line or motivating people to “smash life” Marcus has demonstrated over and over that context can be turned on its head to create a powerful message and call to action.

Marcus brings his enthusiastic take on telling a story and turning it on its head to CreativeMornings.

Time to talk Pioneer

This month we are all about being on the bleeding edge of the wave of ideas.

Here is something to think about as you contemplate what it means to be a pioneer today in the UAE.

I am a Pioneer 

By Shivani Mathur

Curious what we are talking about?

Déborah Madelaine is a senior packaging innovation scientist at Mars, the candy bar company. A pioneer at creative problem solving, Déborah has helped Mars solve innovation, quality and efficiency challenges using creative problem solving techniques. Through her stories, both personal and professional, Déborah will inspire you to feel empowered to become the pioneer of your own life.

This month we had 2 fantastic speakers talking about how compassion has become a driving force of a project.

Janine and Asmae shared the incredible story of how a simple idea, Ramadan Fridges, went from a simple idea to a large community engagement activity in the blink of an eye.

What was incredible was how these 2 women made people stop, reflect and then think about how they can create a movement that people engage in because they are passionate about the ideas.

We are always glad to see those who come to CreativeMornings engaging with the speakers and the ideas after the talk.

And there are always a new faces and new ideas joining us in Dubai.

CreativeMornings is all about ideas and sharing!

Here is the talk!

One of the things we love about our mornings in Dubai is the playlist of tunes that Dale Nichols compiles for the talk.

The Weight 

The Band

Lean On Me 

Bill Withers

Shelter From The Storm 

Bob Dylan


Schindler’s List - 

John Williams

Heal The World 

Michael Jackson

Stand By Me 

Ben E. King

Here is a sneak peak of Lorne Riely speaking at CreativeMornings in Dubai on the theme of GENIUS.