Next Vancouver speaker

Ema Peter

More info

June 7, 8:30am • SFU Woodward's — Goldcorp Centre for the Arts • part of a series on Wonder

Ema Peter is a photographer based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Over the past 15 years, Ema has established herself as one of the leading architectural and interior photographers in Canada and has worked with many of the leading architects in the country.Ema’s work has been published in the top international magazines including Architectural Record, Azure, Dwell, Western Living, Object and many more. Ema has won the Architizer A+ Awards 2018 both the jury and public vote, she has won the inaugural Architectural photography award, 2019 Canadian Architect. Ema’s key goal is creating architectural images that have a strong impact and include human element.Ema has a masters degree in applied photography from the National Academy of Theatre and Film art in Sofia, Bulgaria and PhD in Photojournalism. She was an intern in Magnum photo agency in Paris where she learned from some of the most famous photojournalists in the world like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Koudelka, Abbas, Rene Burri and Eliott Erwitt. Ema was head of the international photography team for VRX studios, the biggest provider for images to the hospitality industry and was responsible for creating the photography guidelines for brands like Fairmont, Hilton, Hyatt and lead photographer for their ad campaigns.Q&AHow do you define creativity and apply it in your life and career?
Creativity for me is finding that magic that you feel as a child in every new thing; the pure innocent excitement, the lack of any judgement, the freedom of expression. Creativity thrives in people that stay children forever. I have this theory that our minds really create the world and whatever world we want to create it starts from the moment we open our eyes in the morning.Where do you find your best creative inspiration or energy?
Light and clouds. I love chasing the light and seeing how it changes a building. You almost create a relationship with it and when you catch that perfect moment nothing compares to it. I am truly the biggest fan of clouds. Clouds are for dreamers and they help us see the world in a very different way. I keep posting them on Instagram and now I have so many people that say they are starting to notice them and that every time they look at them, it reminds them of me.What’s one piece of creative advice or a tip you wish you’d known as a young person?
Nothing really has changed in me since I was young. I had the same determination to succeed and I feel the opposite must happen. I must remember how my younger self was not scared of anything. It is my younger self that must give me creative advice to keep going and to keep believing.Who (living or dead) would you most enjoy hearing speak at CreativeMornings?
I would have love to hear Henri Cartier-Bresson talk about the Decisive moment. He truly is one of those people that waited for that perfect moment to happen. As he said, “It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head.”What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Craziest thing I have done is climbing 7 and a half months pregnant on a rooftop on a ladder in Oxford circus to capture a shot and all this with a tripod on my back to balance me. I did get the shot!What books made a difference in your life and why?
The book that made the greatest difference in my life is the Art of War by Sun Tzu. Strategy is the best way to be successful. I truly enjoy doing my own strategy, managing to navigate every situation and be victorious

Linda Solomon Wood is an innovator, entrepreneur, and award-winning journalist.


As CEO of Observer Media Group and founder and editor-in-chief of the National Observer, she works to strengthen public service journalism that investigates corruption, celebrates innovation, and illuminates and helps to make sense of the complex political and social challenges people face today. She previously founded Vancouver Observer and has led both publications to win Canada’s top awards for public service, investigative journalism and excellence in reporting. She sits on the Board of Governors of the National Newspaper Awards, representing digital media and Western Canada. She has participated in the Public Policy Forum’s roundtables on the state of journalism. She started her career as an investigative reporter at The Tennessean in Nashville, where she won the United Press International awards for Best Public Service Reporting and Best Investigative Reporting. She later freelanced for publications including The Los Angeles Times, Orion, and the International Herald Tribune. She studied journalism and American Culture at Northwestern University and received her MFA in literary nonfiction from Vermont College. Born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, she’s lived and worked in Paris, New York City and now, Vancouver, where she enjoys Canada’s West Coast with her husband, two sons and two stepdaughters. She immigrated to Canada shortly after 9/11 and became a Canadian citizen in 2012.Q&A

How do you define creativity and apply it in your life and career?

From nothing comes something. That’s creation. The process of making something from nothing (or something out of nothing) is creativity. I love collaborations. Creating together. Everybody has a unique gift.  Together we make something. It is born, grows, and ultimately, exceeds me, and us. Then there is the letting go process, the realization that the creation has a life of its own.

Where do you find your best creative inspiration or energy?

I get my best ideas when moving: walking, cycling but especially running. However, I think my creative energy comes from quiet, even getting bored. Things arise in silence, reflection, repose. On the other hand, I get a lot of inspiration from engaging with my children and my step-children. They are infinitely inspiring.

What’s one piece of creative advice or a tip you wish you’d known as a young person?

Get behind yourself 100%!!!!  Don’t let people’s reactions to you or what you think THEY think derail you. That’s the most important thing I wish I’d been able to fully absorb as a young person.

Who (living or dead) would you most enjoy hearing speak at CreativeMornings?

If I could hear anyone speak at creative mornings it would probably be AOC or Nancy Pelosi. I guess that’s my American side coming out.

Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?

My mother has been the biggest influence. She’s a photographer and she has lived like a nun in the temple of photography. I watched her struggle a lot with self-doubt, insecurity, fear of success, while creating an epic body of work. Now she’s collected in museums around the world and at 89 is publishing books, taking on commissions and winning awards. She told me last week: ‘Good things come to those who wait.’

What are you proudest of in your life?

My children.  Second to them, National Observer.

If you could interview anyone living or dead, but not a celebrity, who would it be and why?

I’d like to sit down and talk with Martin Luther King and ask him what it was like, was he afraid and what does the world look like to him now.

If you could do anything now, what would you do?  

Spend a month in New York City going to a different musical or drama every night.

Where was the last place you travelled?

New York City.

What music are you listening to these days?

My tastes are eclectic.

What was the best surprise you’ve experienced so far in life?

Having two really wonderful sons VERY late in life, then divorcing and remarrying and getting two really wonderful stepdaughters even later in life.

Where is your favourite place to escape?

The upper trail at Lynn Canyon Headwaters Park.

What was the best advice you were ever given?

“Live on the edge.”

What books made a difference in your life and why?

Too many to count. Lately, Sapiens.

What practises, rituals or habits contribute to your creative work?

Working out.

When you get stuck creatively, what is the first thing you do to get unstuck?

Take a walk..

If you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them?

Probably meditate.

What has been one of your biggest Aha! moments in life?

I was sitting on the edge of continent, in Point Reyes, California, watching the ocean, the birds, the waves against the shore, crashing, receding, rising up again, and I had my aha. Everything in life is transient. Everything is constantly changing. Transience underlies all forms of life.

What object would you put in a time capsule that best represents who you are today?

My  iPhone. (Ouch.)

What is the one movie or book every creative must see/read?

The movies and books that are running through our own heads; I mean, the narrative that is one’s own life.

Book I’ve been reading The Recovering: Intoxication and It’s Aftermath - A brilliant illuminating memoir that is also an examination of alcoholism and creativity and gender and destruction in literature by Leslie Jamison

How do you define creativity and apply it in your life and career?As someone who grew up in poverty, both of material and spirit, creativity is mother of necessity. As a result, I’ve honed valuable skills in finding inventive and creative ways to accomplish my goals. This has served me very well as a community organizer that works with and for the Two-Spirit community: locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. My community is one of most under-resourced communities; however, this has never deterred or inhibited me for working for a better tomorrow for my Two-Spirit relatives – I’ve just had to work smarter (and sometimes harder).

Where do you find your best creative inspiration or energy?

Quite simply creative inspiration dwells in places, spaces and situations of scarcity. When I hear, you can’t do that, or we don’t have a budget to “fill in the blank”, my thinking cap goes on in order to find a work around!

What’s one piece of creative advice or a tip you wish you’d known as a young person? 

Simply, I’d offer and have offered the following advice: Know your creation story My Cree creation story tells me where come from, who am I, and what are my scared teachings:

• Wisdom, to cherish all knowledge;

• Love, to know peace,

• Respect, to honor all of the Creation;

• Courage, to face the foe with integrity;

• Honesty, with himself and the world,

• Humility, to know himself as a sacred part of the Creation; and finally,

• Truth, to know all of these things. 

Know who your people are.

This answer provides a rooting and grounding, humility, accountability, respect, transparency and a lived and embodied truth or medicine.

Know your purpose, gift(s) and medicine(s).

This answer this question; you have the motivation and guide for all your actions.

Always yourself, “why?”.

Just because something is done in the past, does not exempt it from questioning and that it must always be done that way. The answer to this “WHY” question also carries a responsibility, if no one else is saying what you are thinking, sit tall, square your shoulders, hold your head high and speak your truth – find your voice! When you this, you’ll know your purpose, will be for great good of your people and rooted in your creation story – everything is connected.

If not me, then who?.

If you are asked to do something or about something, ask yourself if you’re the right person to fulfil the request. If there is no one else, then the responsibility falls upon you.

Finally, believe and trust in yourself.

(this is the hardest teaching we all must walk) It’s scary walk on a new path, but that is often what a leader needs to do. Take for example, one of my current projects of first-ever Two-Spirit children’s book. What??? Who am I to write a children’s book??? What gives me the right is there is no Two-Spirit children’s book and there is a need for a Two-Spirit children’s book! 

Who (living or dead) would you most enjoy hearing speak at Creative Mornings? 

I would want to hear from voiceless and those pushed to the fringes of our society. At a recent national conference, I had the honor to work with and support a person struggling with a crystal meth addiction to share their truth – when this person was given the opportunity to show up in all their fullness – there was a not peep in the audience as they hung on every word. The medicine that was dispensed was everyone witnessed and honored the humanity of this individual. 

What did you learn from your most memorable creative failure?* 

I offer the three F’s of failure: 1) Figure out what happened, 2) Find a way or ways to not repeat this failure (therefore, a failure is not a failure, but a learning opportunity), and 3) forget the failure and dwell in the solution(s) and/or the lesson(s) learned. 

How does your life and career compare to what you envisioned for your future when you were a sixth grader? 

Oh my goodness, I could never imagine or dream of the life that I am living. When I was young, the two things I was most ashamed of was being an Indian: Wab Kinew notes that Indian always had an adjective: dirty Indian, drunk Indian or dumb Indian. And, me being a sissy boy and called many nasty words. After sobering up, my healing journey allowed me to pull those two things close and to own them and today are great strengths. I was called upon by President Obama was appointed to USA Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, where worked to provide advice and guidance to White House and Secretary of Health and Human Services. Why? Because I’m a sissy-boy Indian who does policy work! The overall lesson from my experience is it’s our secret that keep up sick. Things that we may think are our weaknesses may be our great strengths – all we have to do is make peace with them and call them home. Every day, I ask myself how did get to be so lucky and blessed to have the life that I have.

How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger?

I work with and for the Two-Spirit community: locally, regionally, nationally and internationally for a better tomorrow for my Two-Spirit relatives, so they may not know or walk the journey that walked.

If I could open a door and go anywhere where would that be?

To a time when all my Two-Spirit relatives know honor, respect and dignity within their respective Nations and people, as they once had and enjoyed before the colonizer totally messed it up for us.

What keeps you awake at night?

Sugar and carbs… just joking, no really! Nothing really keeps me awake at night. I think one of the main reasons is because during my waking hours I acknowledge both past and current wrongs and then actively work for a better tomorrow – all the while knowing that I may never witness or experience what I am working for or towards, but I know that one day the seeds I plant will bear fruit.

We’re so thrilled to have Harlan Pruden talking on the theme of Creativity and Inclusive in April.

Harlan Pruden is a proud member of the Cree Nation, or nēhiyaw, in Cree. Harlan’s mother is from the Beaver Lake Reservation and father is from the Whitefish Lake Reservation, both located in northeastern Alberta – Treaty 6 territory. Harlan works with, and for, the Two-Spirit community locally, nationally and internationally.Currently, Harlan is a PhD student at the University of British Columbia and an Educator at Chee Mamuk, an Indigenous public health program at the BC Center for Disease Control. Harlan is also the Managing Editor of the TwoSpiritJournal.com, an interactive multi-platform Two-Spirit media/news site, and a member of the Board of Trustees for the Vancouver Public Library. Harlan was just appointed as an Advisory Member for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Institute of Gender and Health.Harlan also serves as a representative to the International Indigenous Peoples Working Group on HIV/AIDS. Before moving to Vancouver, Harlan was a co-founder and Director of the New York City’s NorthEast Two Spirit Society.In August 2014, Harlan was appointed by President Obama to the US Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) and provided advice, information, and recommendations to the Secretary of Health & Human Services and the White House. (In December 2018, Harlan was (happily) fired from PACHA by Trump via Fedex.)

Juno Kim is known for being a conscious chef whose unique approach to food has garnered him awards, accolades and a reputation as one of the best caterers and food stylists in Vancouver. He’s called upon by the top tastemakers, brands, artists, publications, films and tech companies when they’re in the need for unique food experiences or visuals.

Approaching his sixth year in this role, he looks towards the future with an evolving mindset. Juno is currently exploring novel entrepreneurial and creative projects that capitalize on the multi-disciplinary approach he has cultivated throughout his life.Q&A

How do you define creativity and apply it in your life and career?Creativity is the ability to create something novel by integrating your past experiences, your knowledge base, and your sense of self. My personal approach to creativity is multi-disciplinary; diving deep in many subjects that resonate with me helps me find a unique perspective to express myself.Where do you find your best creative inspiration or energy?

I find my best creative energy comes from a place of mindfulness and well-being, both mental and physical. Treating your body and your mind like a temple makes a world of difference.

What’s one piece of creative advice or a tip you wish you’d known as a young person?

The process is more important than the end goal. Take care of yourself along the way, and find the pleasure in your grind, whatever it is.

Who (living or dead) would you most enjoy hearing speak at CreativeMornings?

Dave Chappelle. Not many people walk away from $50 million dollars in order to retain their creative integrity and well-being.

What books made a difference in your life and why?

Mindset by Carol Dweck, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, The Daily Stoic + Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey

What practices, rituals or habits contribute to your creative work?

Optimal sleep, walking after every meal, daily meditation, and regular exercise. My life changed when I finally adopted these into my life.

Did you miss Kevin Vallely’s emotional presentation on Friday? Don’t fret, the video will be on the event page very soon! Meanwhile, here are a few upcoming events we recommend you check out:

Community Summit: Confronting the Disinformation Age (SFU Public Square, Apr 10–11)SFU Public Square’s 7th Community Summit will consider how the proliferation of disinformation is impacting society and challenging our capacity to make informed decisions about our economic, social, and political lives. Info and tickets at sfu.ca/publicsquare. Grand Opening: Freespace (Tuc Craft Kitchen, Feb 4) Come check out the latest location of Freespace, a local company that transforms restaurants and lounges into affordable coworking solutions. Info at thisfreespace.com. Blood On The Dance Floor by Jacob Boehme (SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, Feb 6–9, 8pm) Presented by Ilbijerri Theatre Company from Australia. “There are many large issues at play in Blood on the Dance Floor, but the work’s emotional pulse is in the ordinariness of Boehme’s need for love and for a sense of belonging.” – Real Time Magazine. Info and tickets at sfu.ca. Creative Industry Showcase (Mitchell Press, Feb 7, 4pm) Create, share, collaborate. Come check out this free event and meet creative professionals from across the design spectrum. Info and tickets via Eventbrite. Public Salon (Vancouver Playhouse, Feb 7, 7:30pm) The Public Salon reminds us just what a remarkable place Metro Vancouver is. We are expecting another audience of over 500 people that is as eclectic as the presenters. Join us at the beautiful Vancouver Playhouse for a celebration of the place we call home. Info and tickets at publicsalon.org. Likemind Vancouver (Chambar, Feb 15) Members of Vancouver’s creative community will be gathering on Fri, Feb 18 for coffee, connections, and conversation (and hopefully some delicious waffles!). As always, this community event is FREE. More info here. Children of God musical (The Cultch, Feb 20–Mar 10) In this powerful musical, the children of an Oji-Cree family are sent to a residential school in Northern Ontario. Info and tickets at thecultch.com. Transformative Technology Vancouver Chapter Launch (Mobify, Feb 27) Are you working on medically and scientifically validated technologies supporting mental health, emotional wellbeing, and human thriving? Then you will want to be at this event featuring Nichol Bradford. Info and tickets via Eventbrite. Panel Discussion: Digital Production Management (Brainstation, Feb 27, 6:30) The panel will provide real-world insights and actionable tips into the skills you need to become an effective product manager, and what you can apply to your team’s next project. Info and tickets at brainstation.io. CreativeMornings: Juno Kim (SFU Woodward’s, Mar 1, 8:30am) Juno Kim is known for being a conscious chef whose unique approach to food has garnered him awards, accolades and a reputation as one of the best caterers and food stylists in Vancouver. Info and tickets at creativemornings.com. Restoration & Stories: Opening Reception (Britannia Art Gallery, Mar 6–29) The panel will provide real-world insights and actionable tips into the skills you need to become an effective product manager, and what you can apply to your team’s next project. More info at probynart.com. Have a creative day!

Come join us for our February 1st speaker Kevin Valley on the topic of Symmetry!


In 2003 Kevin Vallely was named one of Canada’s leading adventurers by the Globe and Mail. His adventuring resume is stacked with compelling expeditions to all parts of the world including skiing Alaska’s 1,860 kilometre Iditarod Trail; scampering over Vancouver Island’s West Coast Trail in record time (10 hours, 13 minutes); attempting to bike and climb the island of Java’s 13 -10,000-foot volcanoes (a trip cut short when post-9/11 Indonesia became too dangerous); competing on the only Canadian team to finish the last and most difficult Eco-Challenge adventure race held in Fiji in 2002; retracing a 2,000 kilometre Klondike-era ice-bike route through the dead of an Alaskan winter, and most recently, with teammates Ray Zahab and Richard Weber, breaking the world record for the fastest unsupported trek from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole.

Kevin is a member of the esteemed Explorer’s Club and was an Explorer’s Club Flag Recipient for his attempted traverse of the Northwest Passage in 2013. His book Rowing the Northwest Passage: Adventure, Fear and Awe in a Rising Sea was published by Greystone Books in 2017.

Kevin is a registered architect and runs his own company Vallely Architecture. He graduated from the McGill University School of Architecture in 1988 where he was awarded the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada medal as top graduating student. He’s a recipient of a Commonwealth Scholarship to Cambridge University.How do you define creativity and apply it in your life and career?

Creativity is the cultivation of the imagination. It is the act of expressing feelings, thoughts and observations.

Where do you find your best creative inspiration or energy?

Outside in motion

What’s one piece of creative advice or a tip you wish you’d known as a young person?

Trust your gut.

Who (living or dead) would you most enjoy hearing speak at CreativeMornings?

Ernest Hemingway

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Take my 9 month-old daughter to Siberia and then find ourselves in Russia illegally and evading capture.

What are you reading these days?

FEAR

What fact about you would surprise people?

I’m lazy at heart.

How does your life and career compare to what you envisioned for your future when you were a sixth grader?

I wanted to be an artist and a stunt man in grade 6. Not too far off.

How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger?

Follow my dreams.

If I could open a door and go anywhere where would that be?

Space

Where was the last place you travelled?

Baffin Island

What music are you listening to these days?

The Lumineers

What was the best surprise you’ve experienced so far in life?

My kids

Where is your favourite place to escape?

The trails of North Vancouver

What was the best advice you were ever given?

Trust your gut.

When you get stuck creatively, what is the first thing you do to get unstuck?

Go for a trail run

Was Tiko Kerr's recent talk great or what? If you were unable to join us, the video will be on the event page very soon! In the interim, here are a few upcoming creative events that you might want to check out:



Femme Series (The Cultch, Jan 11–Feb 16) Highlighting the strength and power of female-identifying voices. Info and tickets

PuSh Festival (Various venues, Jan 17–Feb 3) Theatre, dance, multimedia, music, film, and more! Info and tickets

Free MakerLabs Tours (780 East Cordova, Jan 10 & 11) Free CreativeMornings tours for anyone who wants to make stuff! No tickets required, but info

Saboteur (The Arts Factory, Jan 12) A loving ode to the bad things we do with an immersive travel-through experience. Info and tickets

GDC Beers with Peers (Tap & Barrel, Jan 17) A loving ode to the bad things we do with an immersive travel-through experience. Info and tickets

Likemind Vancouver (Quantum Cafe, Jan 18) Members of Vancouver's creative community will be gathering on Fri, January 18tht for coffee, connections, and conversation. As always, this event is FREE. More info

Blood On The Dance Floor by Jacob Boehme (SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, Feb 6–9, 8pm) Presented by Ilbijerri Theatre Company from Australia. “There are many large issues at play in Blood on the Dance Floor, but the work’s emotional pulse is in the ordinariness of Boehme’s need for love and for a sense of belonging.” – Real Time Magazine. Info and tickets

Creative Industry Showcase (Mitchell Press, Feb 7, 4pm) Create, share, collaborate. Come check out this free event and meet creative professionals from across the design spectrum. Info and tickets

Upcoming RADIUS programs Trampoline Business Model Validation April 9 to June 4, 2019 & Slingshot
 Accelerator
 January to June, 2020. More info

Happy New Year from all your friends at CreativeMornings!

Join us in January as we welcome our speaker on the topic of Surreal, Vancouver Artist Tiko Kerr.

Tiko Kerr is a visual artist who has been living and working in Vancouver for the past 30 years. His practice includes painting, murals, set design and performance, as well teaching and social activism. As a survivor of a few challenges, Kerr has a fundamental belief in the healing capacity of the creative spirit and of community.

His most recent body of work entitled  “Reframed” will be exhibited from May to September 2019 at The Gordon Smith Gallery of Canadian Art in North Vancouver. Tiko is thrilled to be participating in CreativeMornings.

Q&A

How do you define creativity and apply it in your life and career?

Creativity for me is reacting to the world by trusting myself to fall forward.

Where do you find your best creative inspiration or energy?

In my Parker Street studio.

What’s one piece of creative advice or a tip you wish you’d known as a young person?

Look and remember everything that you see. Work tirelessly but know that becoming a creator is the greatest gift you can make for yourself.

Who (living or dead) would you most enjoy hearing speak at CreativeMornings?

Chevalier de Saint-Georges

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

When I was in my 20’s and decided to crew on a tiny sailboat out of Darwin, Northern Australia, bound for the Indonesian archipelago, across the lawless Arafura Sea. It became the great transformative adventure of my life.

Where is your favourite place to escape?

Coal Harbour in my racing scull.

What books made a difference in your life and why?

The journals of Leonardo which I discovered in my teens. An invaluable, meticulous catalogue of how Leonardo saw the world. I’m still learning from it to this day.

What has been one of your biggest Aha! moments in life?

Having an existential flash on my 4th birthday. I was struck with the knowledge that I was a living human being and that I had been given the responsibility to live my life with purpose.

We are thrilled to invite you to our December 7th CMVan where Navida Nuraney will speak to our theme of Tradition.

Navida has devoted her career over the past 15 years to the creative sector. It started with architecture, then transitioned to graphic design, where she helped launch a start up which sparked her entrepreneurial spirit. While completing an MBA at the Sauder School of Business, she worked at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in communications. From there she took on the role as Executive Director at ArtStarts in Schools. ArtStarts is a charitable organization all about expanding the role of art in education and promoting the value of creativity in young people’s lives. Her early leadership development was rooted in the mantra, be the kind of boss you always wish you had. Over the past eight years, Navida has kept organizational culture number one. As the saying goes: organizations don’t succeed - people do.Q&A


How do you define creativity and apply it in your life and career?

Creativity is applied imagination. It is about listening to your inner voice and and allowing your ideas to take form. Creativity is a process - not just a single a-ha moment. In my life, I practice creativity through observation, rigorous note taking, asking questions, and making connections. I used to think that creativity meant defaulting to yes. But more and more I appreciate the creative value of saying no.

Where do you find your best creative inspiration or energy?
I believe creative inspiration is everywhere, and that it is more about the lens you choose to look through. Your daily routine could inspire zero creative inspiration or it might inspire much more. I pay attention to details and my radar is always up. This has served my creative practice well as you never know when creative inspiration might strike. I also value time spent alone as  this is often when a-ha moments culminate for me.

What’s one piece of creative advice or a tip you wish you’d known as a young person?
That creative and artistic are separate. Just because you can’t draw, doesn’t mean you are not creative.

Who (living or dead) would you most enjoy hearing speak at CreativeMornings?
JR - the photograffeur who posts large black and white images in streets all over the world and engages the public to create his artwork.

What are you reading these days?
I have a three year old and so I am reading a ton of fun children’s books. Current favourites include anything by Arnold Lobel (eg. Frog & Toad) and Keiko Kasza (My Lucky Day). Seeing my daughter’s engagement with books is so satisfying as I can see her making connections, building empathy, and activating her imagination. I also find myself referencing metaphors and messages from children’s books at work all the time. In fact last month I centered a donor pitch meeting around an Elephant & Piggie book and it worked!

What’s the most recent thing you learned (big or small)?
I recently attending a Design Thinking course at the Banff Centre and learned all about the value of prototyping. The key is that prototyping allows us to explore real actions (what people actually do), rather than reactions (what people say or think they would do). To create a prototype you identify the smallest meaningful activity you can stage to either explore unknowns or test core assumptions. You prototype to learn not to prove. It is an iterative process where you make a move, and allow the context to talk back to you. And then you make your next move.

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