Tag Archives: creative problem solving

Do Something Different 6: Give Something Different

This is an assignment for Creative Problem Solving course I’m taking online via Coursera and the University of Minnesota. Each week, students are asked to Do Something Different, and then reflect on the process.

Give something different. Plan in advance and implement a gift or giving activity; document your DSD in writing and in video/photos. This should be something you have never done before, or an act of giving to someone you never have given anything before. You might want to to a mindmap of all the words associated with “giving” to give you some ideas. What do you give, to whom or what, and why? How do you define what ‘giving’ is? How might you identify a person to give something to, and how can you identify challenge areas to create a meaningful experience through giving?


1. Background

This is a really interesting challenge for me. I’m from the UK, but I’ve recently come home after spending two years living in Japan as an English Teacher. It was an amazing experience for so many reasons, not least for the glimpse it gave me of the culture of Japan, and its differences from my own culture.

One of the many differences I enjoyed was the culture of gift-giving in Japan. Gifts, and the act of giving and receiving a gift, are a really important way to strengthen social bonds between people. It’s not just about the gift itself, but about the thought behind it that says, “I value you highly, and I am expressing this through a gift.” If a colleague goes on holiday, it is kind of expected that they bring back a souvenir gift for everybody in the office ā€“ it’s called omiyage. In my school there were around a hundred members of staff, so I would buy a huge box of sweets or pastries when I went away. Omiyage is just one of many different types of gift. You can read more about gift giving in Japan at this link (via Tofugu).

Gift bags for my neighbours in Japan.
Gift bags for my neighbours in Japan.

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Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson

I was asked to watch this talk for the Creative Problem Solving course that I’m studying with Coursera and the University of Minnesota. Johnson talks about the importance of networks and sharing ideas as engines of innovation. There’s a condensed version on the Youtube video below, with some neat animation. Check it out.

Do Something Different 5: Do what your other does

This is an assignment for Creative Problem Solving course I’m taking online via Coursera and the University of Minnesota. Each week, students are asked to Do Something Different, and then reflect on the process.

Plan beforehand, and implement, something completely different that your roommate, sibling, parent or significant other (spouse, lover, BFF, etc.) does (always) that you don’t (ever)



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Do Something Different 4: As A Child

One frequent observation of creativity that is research and personally based, is that children are often more spontaneous and creative before they are socialized by the educational process. In other words, you played as a kid. Think back to some of your childhood experiences and for this DSD, do something you used to do as a child that you don’t do now. You will be evaluated based on your choice, your reasons, and your reflections of change between then and now.

DSD4-1

How could I do something as a child? I thought back to my own childhood. Growing up as the oldest of five meant that I was surrounded by toys and games. What I enjoyed the most was always free-form play ā€“ outside of rules, where unconnected toys took different roles in the same crazy fictional world.
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Do Something Different 2: Wear Something Different

Wear Something Different is the brief for the second assignment of the Creative Problem Solving Course Iā€™m studying through Coursera. I really enjoyed completing the Eat Something Different assignment, but I was concerned about finding sufficient time for the second assignment around my other commitments for the week. My thinking started with a mind map.

Mind map exceprts
Mind map exceprts

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Do Something Different 1: Eat Different

I’m taking an online course in Creative Problem Solving via Coursera and the University of Minnesota. One way it aims to challenge and develop the creativity of participants is by asking them to take on unusual challenges called Do Something Different. The first challenge was Eat Different.

Conceptualize, plan in advance and eat something different. Eat something different; that is, eat something completely different, not something that has been just left out of your diet; suggestions: a different culture, an entirely new creation, or a different manner or definition of eating. You should understand that this is not an assignment solely about food, but about the process of eating, literally and figuratively. Again, plan and implement your plan; report on the results”

This is my entry.


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