Synectics at CPSI

By Joe Gammal

It has felt like a home-coming for Synecticsworld at the Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI) yearly conference in Atlanta, GA this week.  Back in 1960’s, the founder of CPSI, Sid Parnes, was a contemporary of George Prince and Bill Gordon, our own Synectics founders. Through the years, though the connections have drifted, our missions have maintained a kindred spirit. As I prepared for the day-long Synectics foundation training we were to give at the kick-off of the conference, I was reminded of a video I had recently discovered in the Synecticsworld archives.  It was a panel discussion held in 1994 called “The Pioneers of Creative Problem Solving” where George, Sid Parnes, and others were all brought together to share their wisdom and their stories. Those in the field will know of their pioneering work.  Being here this week is a reforging of that connection.

When my colleague, Kyle Hermans, and I arrived on Sunday, we met up the conference organizers  — Pim Vossen, Stephen Brand  and their team, who shared their excitement to have Synectics back in the fold and made us feel incredibly welcome.

Our sold out foundation training in Synectics Innovative TeamWorkshop™ had strong, inquisitive attendees spanning Fortune 500 companies, Business Owners, Professional Facilitators, and Educators.  Several had been trained previously in creative problem solving and were trainers and facilitators in creativity and innovation themselves, yet they were all so engaged allowing the depth of Synectics body of knowledge to really play out. The day was long and exhilarating, and yet, the highlight for me was yet to come.

Over dinner we were introduced to fellow presenter John Hunter, educator and founder of the World Peace Game, World Peace Game, whose insprirations have landed him on TED and the Huffington Post’s top 10 list of most influential ideas of 2011. John recounted the early inspiration of Synectics on his teaching methods, and what he called the Synectics book of magic spells.  After three hours finding ourselves in deep and sweeping conversations on curiosity, courage, fear, and love (more on this in my next blog), we realized that such chance encounters are what the conference is about. …. Our influence on him … and his influence on us and shared passions for the future… 

To John, thank you for reinforcing for us that Synectics has a seat at the table in education and a role to help fellow-collaborators unleash the creative and collaborative talents of our children to solve theproblems of our world.

To our CPSI hosts, thank you for fabulous job in bringing together and sparking the imaginations passionate, mission-driven people, and make-ing us feel at home. We look forward to the rest of the week with you all…and what our shared aspirations will bring.

Who are your kindred spirits — newly found, found anew or waiting to be discovered?

John Hunter – Educator & Founder, World Peace Game from CPSI on Vimeo.


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