The Future of CEF

CEF is about to embark upon a very exciting new chapter in its evolving history. The 21st Century requires the next generation to think and act differently than any other generation before them. And CEF is hoping that the many people who have benefited from the use of CPS in their work are ready for the opportunity this reality provides.

After some fact-finding and exploration, the CEF Board has crafted the following new purpose to help students of today become the innovators of tomorrow:

CEF will engage and develop the next generation of creative thinkers and innovators.

As the 58th CPSI (IDEAS > ACTION) quickly approaches (June 19 – 21 in Atlanta), I want to share an update of the CEF Board of Trustees’ recent meetings and plans. I look forward to welcoming many of you to CPSI in Atlanta…a time to re-connect and to discuss these plans in more depth! If you haven’t already, please check out details and register now.

Over the last 6 months, the board has been engaged in a deep review of where CEF and CPSI will be in the future. Many of you provided ideas and perspectives last December, and the Board explored and refined the most viable options. Key criteria included relevance, adhering to our Core Values, leveraging the strengths of our community, and creating a sustainable business model.

What does this mean?

  • To better streamline our operations and respond to the expanding needs and gaps in the creative thinking field, CEF will continue to do what it does best – training others in the fundamentals of creative thinking skills and problem solving methodology – but with a more focused strategy in the education community.
  • The ‘Next Generation’ refers to young people from school age through young adulthood.
  • Our focus will be on three main targets – partnering with higher education to conduct research in the creativity/innovation field, training educators who work with K–12 students, and expanding our YouthWise mission program.

Does this focus on the Next Generation meet a real need?

  • There is an increasing interest around the world in creative thinking, problem solving, and innovation as competencies that will be of crucial importance in the future. Industrial, economic ,and cultural influences all play into this.
  • Educators (formal and informal) have little training and experience in addressing this need.
  • Creativity is often restricted to being taught in the arts. The need to understand creative thinking and problem solving as relevant throughout the curriculum is largely unmet.

Why is this a viable direction for CEF?

  • CEF is a premier provider of adult training in the field of creativity, problem solving, and innovation. In the future more training opportunities will be developed for people who work with the next generation including educators and youth organization leaders.
  • CEF serves a very diverse group of people — people from many places, professions, and with a wide range of perspectives attend CPSI, are members, and participate in training opportunities. Our CEF instructional designers, trainers, and facilitators will reflect this diversity. We want to prepare young people for the real world by engaging the broad community in our efforts! It is not just an effort involving educators but is bound to construct bridges between education, businesses and communities as well!
  • CEF has supported and published research in the creativity field through the Journal of Creative Behavior. CEF will engage in future research related to our re-focused purpose beginning with a project with Dartmouth University that studies the impact of learning creative problem solving on the brains of middle school students. This project will begin in January 2013.

What will happen to some of the current programs and services CEF supports?

  • CPSI will continue but evolve. We will actively explore HOW to deliver future CPSI’s at CPSI 2012. Please join us in Atlanta to be a part of these discussions.
  • The JCB (Journal of Creative Behavior) will continue to be owned by CEF and published quarterly by Wiley Blackwell. We may also explore moving CEF Press to Wiley Blackwell.
  • While trainings will continue to be provided when businesses and organizations request them, this effort will not be a high priority for CEF. Staff will continue to prepare proposals and follow up with prospective clients and training workshops will continue to be presented by CEF members. This effort provides a revenue source for CEF and it’s members and continuing to share creative thinking and problem solving in the wider world.

What are the next steps?

  • Seek input and involvement from YOU!
  • Secure resources to support the future growth of CEF.
  • Explore opportunities for having CEF form a partnership with another organization and/or institution to strengthen our effectiveness and reach.
  • This is the time to focus on the next generation in unique and exciting ways. The impact and outcomes are critical to society worldwide. As CEF does that well, we will learn, respond, and evolve.

We look forward to your input and involvement as we continue this creative journey.

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