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Creative Oklahoma helps you take your ideas to implementation. We help creators turn their ideas into realities and leverage their innovation for education, commerce, and culture

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Thank you to everyone that came to our annual Oklahoma Creativity Ambassadors Gala and a huge thank you to our sponsors and supporters!


An International Movement with Sir Ken Robinson

Creative Oklahoma is a training and support center for ideation – an incubator for Oklahoma’s visionaries who drive economic growth, enrich our culture, and improve our quality of life. It is a place where people, schools, businesses, and communities can connect to the proper support systems to help their ideas become realities and their creativity to be leveraged for education, commerce and culture.

The Districts of Creativity Network

The Districts of Creativity (DC) Network unites 13 of the most creative and innovative regions around the world. The network is coordinated by Flanders DC and exchanges best practices and experiences in stimulating creativity and innovation. Find out more about the members, the network, and its activities on www.districtsofcreativity.org.


Dr. Terry Neese, CEO/Founder – Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women

Thank you to everyone!

Stay tuned for the next Innovation Series Talk.


Downtown Metropolitan Library
300 Park Ave, Oklahoma City, OK

Expanding Creativity & Improving Businesses

The Creativity School (cSchool) is a teaching cadre of Oklahoma-based academicians and practitioners in creativity and innovation. It presents research-based creativity-focused curricular offerings via an annual pre-Forum day-long “bootcamp” and customized offerings for businesses, educational institutions, and communities requesting assistance with furthering creativity and innovation in their environments.

The renowned MIT Venture Mentoring Service (VMS) is coming to Oklahoma as a special new initiative of Creative Oklahoma to expand their educational offerings to further spur creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship in the state. Creative Oklahoma is building upon ten years of success as the first statewide initiative in the U.S. to advance creativity and innovation in education, commerce and culture to improve the economy and life quality of its citizens.

Numerous small towns and cities throughout our state face difficult economic and societal issues that government programs and/or private businesses simply cannot solve. But through the Creative Communities program, our citizens can. Creative Communities fills the support gap, teaching citizens to find creative answers to old problems—using innovation to improve lives.

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Read our blog

Join Creative Oklahoma

October 11th, 2015|0 Comments

Creative Oklahoma, the first nonprofit organization in the United States to develop a statewide strategic framework for advancing creativity and innovation

ReCreating America: Creativity and Learning

October 11th, 2015|0 Comments

"ReCreating America: Creativity and Learning" explores the importance of creativity in education: how can parents and teachers assist the creative growth

ReCreating America: Reinventing Yourself

October 11th, 2015|0 Comments

Partnering with InCA Productions, OETA and NETA, this is the second film in a series of documentaries exploring creativity in America:


Your ideas matter!

Read more



Creative Oklahoma Highlights

Changing the Outcome of the Game

July 19th, 2017|0 Comments

By Ed Long – Creative Oklahoma & Cross Sector Innovations


At an event hosted recently by Creative Oklahoma, I listened to Thunder general manager Sam Presti, a newly appointed Oklahoma Creativity Ambassador, talk about the creativity that takes place on the basketball court. Men and women are given a ball and have to create something. They translate what is on the inside into a visual display of innovation, critical thinking, mental strength and perseverance. The creative process is powerful and not limited to the arts and music. It allows us to find new solutions and opportunities that didn’t exist before. This increases the likelihood of success and changes the outcome of the game.

There are young men and women across the state who understand this as competitors in sports and who use these skills and lessons throughout life to create and build successful careers and live a good life. It is critical to provide opportunities for them to create and learn. For the past twenty years, Steve Goodnight has done just this. He and his team have worked with partners in communities around the state to provide opportunities for Oklahoma youth to compete in a variety of sports, including basketball, soccer, football and softball. He has seen first hand the commitment these young people have to working hard, learning and being their best. Over a twenty year period, several thousand youth have participated in sports programs offered by Mr. Goodnight and his colleagues.

Through effective coaching and mentoring, Mr. Goodnight explains that youth learn how our thoughts affect outcomes. He teaches that negative thoughts lead to negative feelings which can lead to negative behavior. Through sports and mentoring, thousands of young people learn how to control their thoughts, to see that more is possible and believe they can create positive change in their lives in spite of the obstacles they may face. They too can create—whether on the field and court, or in business and community.

Mr. Goodnight is director of recreation at the Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center in Tecumseh. He and his colleagues across the state provide opportunities to thousands of young people for whom these options may not have existed previously. He works hard to ensure that those he serves have the same opportunities he had to participate in and learn from sports. He took what was within him—what he knew produced positive results for him and others—and created opportunities for other young people. He believed in them.

For those who wonder about the evidence base behind creating sports programs to improve the longer-term trajectory of young people, it should be noted that there is clinical research to support the framework within which these programs operate. There is a bank of clinical terminology to illustrate the theory behind the practice. Sports are simply a vehicle.  

But, this outstanding program began with Mr. Goodnight being empowered to create and innovate. It began with his belief in the youth he serves and in their ability to take hold of an opportunity and create something for themselves. While sports aren’t the answer for everyone, this is one example of creating something that for some did not exist before. Creativity and innovation thrive when we allow it to develop from the inside out—from the bottom up. It worked for Mr. Goodnight, and it is working for those he serves.

Philanthropreneurship | How The Creative Democracy Can Transform Communities

July 3rd, 2017|0 Comments

By Susan McCalmont

In a growing world of complexity and change, we are all being challenged to imagine new solutions for the collective problems facing us, and even develop new definitions for what it means to be part of a civil society where civic discourse is encouraged and celebrated.

A global shift is making space for a new creative democracy and economy of ideas marked by open spaces for collaboration for all humans. The technological revolution has been part of these open platforms for some time, but we are now seeing these platforms being used to encourage social interaction and conversation at a new level. The primal desire for human connection and idea sharing is leading to a systemic movement of creative ideas and innovation.

The basic human capacity we all possess to imagine something that does not yet exist, formulate the spark of an idea, and experiment with that idea to refine and generate the idea with the most value, defines the creative process, according to education and creativity author, Sir Ken Robinson. Taking those top, vetted ideas of greatest value into implementation leads to both innovation and entrepreneurship.  Imagination and creativity are capacities all humans are born with, and therefore all have the potential for immense idea creation and innovation, if properly encouraged and nurtured under the right environmental conditions.

In thriving cities and towns across the globe, images of the lone creative genius or entrepreneur in an incubator focused solely on product development or quick financial turnaround, are giving way to a more collaborative entrepreneurship movement with focus on open inquiry and process, and not just the end game, or the final product.  As these ideators and their collaborative environments are recognized and supported, additional open spaces grow, and entire communities, cities and regions are transformed by coming together to share their imaginings, concepts, and ideas for change.

In the central US state of Oklahoma, the Creative Communities pilot program was launched one year ago in eight small towns through a competitive application process, to help grow supportive, collaborative environments to facilitate unleashing and growing the creative capacities of the citizens of each town.  With joint leadership of Duane Wilson, Director of Continuous Improvement at the University of Notre Dame, trained facilitators utilize a research-based framework for helping groups of individuals creatively come up with new solutions.  A diverse group of local community leaders come together monthly in repurposed community spaces, to study and discuss the strengths and challenges of their economic and social issues.

Over time, the groups of citizens utilize a six-step methodology to:

  1. Explore the Vision – identify the goal, wish or challenge;
  2. Gather Data – Identify data to enable a clear understanding of the challenge
  3. Formulate Challenges – Identify the real challenges that invite solutions
  4. Explore Ideas – Generate ideas that answer the challenging questions
  5. Formulate Solutions – Move from ideas to solutions, evaluation, strengthening, and selecting solutions
  6. Formulate a Plan – Explore acceptance and identify resources and action steps.

The process has yielded some of the most extraordinary ideas from ordinary citizens who have been given permission and encouraged to create a new reality for their towns from their own collective ideas.  New relationships have been forged between young and old, knowledge has been shared and group intelligence is growing, the entrepreneurial spirit has been ignited, and hope has been restored.

The transformation of eight small Oklahoma towns is witness to the power of the human imagination and framework for societal change that is possible anywhere.



Article published June 14, 2017 on Philantropreneurship

Article from NewsOK | Point of View: New perspectives can help Oklahomans with intellectual, developmental disabilities

May 31st, 2017|0 Comments

By Wanda Felty and Ed Long


Social innovation requires that we not only look for new solutions to problems, but that we also look at the problem through multiple lenses. A new lens for viewing social challenges can offer insight into new, complementary solutions. The challenges faced by Oklahomans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families is one such area that can significantly benefit from a new perspective.

As a state, we focus a good deal of attention on improving access to services that individuals with I/DD receive based on particular medical diagnoses. Families enter a system that, due to the imbalance of resources and needs, often requires that they wait for years before the application is reviewed. Even then, they may not qualify for services. It’s critical that we continue making progress by reducing wait times and providing adequate resources to meet the demand.

For the full article click here: http://newsok.com/article/5550282

You may leave your comment below or email Ed Long at: ed.long@crosssectorinnovations.org


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Creative Oklahoma has developed specific programs and services to promote understanding of the demand for creativity and innovation in the state and to drive Oklahoma’s economic growth and improve life quality for its citizens. With an organizational structure resembling that of an inverted umbrella, Creative Oklahoma welcomes the connecting spokes of all organizations and individuals interested in promoting imagination, creativity, and innovation through education, commerce and culture in the state of Oklahoma and beyond.

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