Workshops offer a space for participants with shared common interests to meet for focused and interactive discussion of issues related to the conference theme and to the broader ICT4D domain.

The following workshops will be provided in a virtual format

Using creative problem solving methods with applied improvisation to increase communication and innovation across multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams

Improv is not just for comedy theatre. The concept of using applied improvisation for creative problem-solving (CPS) grew out of the 1990s from those who did human resources and talent development training. Improvisation also makes use of the CPS process in a very informal but explicit manner as performers create a story “out of nothing” to create a work of art that is both entertaining and thought provoking. One of the most common forms of long-form improvisation is called the Harold and it involves both divergent and convergent thinking at multiple stages of the show which allows the performers to create multiple-phase vignettes using just-in-time thinking which is a keystone of CPS as well.

The Osborn-Parnes Creative Problem-Solving process was developed in the 1950s. The CPS process involves four stages and explicit process steps within each stage that involves both divergent and convergent thinking. The Creative Education Foundation’s (CEF) Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI) conference grew out of this work and has been held for more than 60 years. It is from this work that methodologies such as design thinking arose. In the 1980s, Min Basadur developed the Basadur Simplexity system which is an enhancement of original CPS process and includes the use of an innovation profile and challenge maps.

Activities proposed for this workshop will include an overview of the Basadur Simplexity CPS. This workshop will also teach participants some of the techniques of improvisation and ideas on how it can be used to develop better diverse teams that work together toward a common goal. There is research that supports the use of applied improvisation, including the work done by the Alan Alda Center for the Communication of Science at Stony Brook University which was the site of the Applied Improvisation Network 2019 Conference.

Expected outcomes from the workshop

This workshop will introduce participants to an alternative way of conducting a creative problem-solving session and how to focus on the present or problem at hand. The objective is to teach methodologies that can be used for creating better cross-cultural teams in terms of communication, collaboration, and cultural understanding.

  1. Identify areas where these techniques can be used.
  2. Review examples using these techniques.
  3. Discuss how these techniques could be used in one’s own environment.

To participate