On Creativity: Research Proposals

Name(s): ICT and Creativity

1. Challenge / area

What is the challenge or emerging area? Why is this an opportunity? Is this a bottleneck that would open up an area? Is it an area that has been opened up due to a bottleneck/roadblock being removed?

Creativity is at the core of progress and innovation mechanisms. This has always been so, but it is particularly true today in the context of ICT and all the culture related sectors. Thus, a big challenge is to understand (i) how creative processes can be enhanced by the supporting interaction of culture and ICT and (ii) how this can contribute to further develop the knowledge-based economy and the creation of new content related industries. Research has to be promoted that focuses on developing creative people, creative technologies, creative processes, creative communities and creative environments.


2. Topics

List research topics that would be relevant and together bring this forward.

  • How to foster creativity and social participation in the ICT context
  • Building knowledge repositories by community participation
  • Building creative communities
  • Fostering cultural identity by community participation
  • Develop new models of culture creation and dissemination
  • Promote personal growth by social interaction


3. Impact

What would be the impact of a breakthrough in this area? Where would the impact be (science, technology, economy, society)?

The information society is an environment where creativity is becoming increasingly important. In this context, right-directed thinking (representing creativity and emotion) is likely to have a stronger relevance than left-directed thinking (representing logical, analytical thought). Supporting this line of thought, we should notice, for example, that the largest software industry (Microsoft) is investing important funding in related topics (such as Life Hacks and Life Bits), and that the most prominent IT service industry frontier research (Google, Yahoo, etc.) is precisely directed at untapping social/individual resources in this area.


4. Suitability for ICT and FET

What makes this suitable for ICT and FET as opposed to the downstream units or ERC? Is it vision-driven and high-risk, embryonic or foundational?

As much as we recognize the importance of creativity, it constitutes one of the most ill-defined problems. Unlike many phenomena in science, there is no single, authoritative perspective or definition of creativity. Unlike many phenomena in psychology, there is no standardized measurement technique. Thus, FET is the area where this research belongs to. As far as ICT is concerned, information technology is so pervasive today that it is certainly going to be the key tool which is bound to untap new (creative) resources. It is a fairly safe assumption to say that implicating ICT in research about creativity will provide the most effective results. Furthermore, recent networking IT concentrate efforts on social networking, P2P and 3P in which a good understanding of creative processes and mechanisms could be the key factor for a stronger societal impact.


5. Communities

Is this topic addressing an existing or new community? What areas of expertise are to be involved? Is it a multidisciplinary area, and if so is this a new or an existing mix of disciplines?

This research area is indeed a multidisciplinary area, and it should use the expertise accumulated in fields where multidisciplinariety, and in particular a transversal coverage of human and natural sciences, is a core feature. Another requirement is the expertise in relating scientific research to creative endeavours. Several growing communities feature these kinds of expertise: Sound and Music Computing, [visual?], Medialogy, etc. Other well-established communities (computer science, behavioural and social psychology, business management) provide expertises that can be used in this context.


6. Does it relate to existing proactives or challenges that have already been formulated?


If it is a continuation, how is it evolving as compared to earlier work? What new dimensions can be identified?


Some past proactive actions, such as DC and Presence, have indeed faced from some distance the problem of creativity in research endeavors. However, as far as we can tell only the surface of the issue has been scratched, and no in-depth investigation has been carried out.