Our History

The current strategic importance of creativity has been acknowledged by many commentators, both at the international level - the Nomura Institute's proposition is that "Creativity will be the next economic activity, replacing the current focus on information" [1] - and within the UK, where the Cox review commissioned by Gordon Brown in 2005 sees exploitation of the nation's creative skills as "vital to the UK's long-term economic success" [2].

The Cox review (2005) concluded that "The success of the creative industries notwithstanding, there is evidence that UK business is not realising the full potential of applying creativity more widely", and emphasised the need for interdisciplinary teaching in universities. Brown added that the challenge is: "not just to encourage creative industries, our priority is to encourage all industries to be creative".

Creativity and design, used effectively, are important competitive tools for firms and the formal education system, enhancing the supply of creativity and design skills, and management and business skills more generally [3]. This combination of economic drivers and government direction, added to the fact that London is a leading international centre of creativity in the UK, provides City University London with a unique opportunity that can be leveraged by a new inter-disciplinary centre. City is already a world-class centre of applied creativity research through activities in informatics, business, psychology, music and the arts.

Creativity cuts across City's research activities: it was the subject of the most popular institution-wide research event to date and theme of City's annual reports in 2004 and 2006. All of the above lead to the establishment of the Centre for Creativity in Professional Practice in 2009, as part of City's investment in interdisciplinary research centres.

We had our official launch in September 2009 with the Big City Brainstorm - To demonstrate the real world application of creativity we invited people to come and participate in the Big City Brainstorm - a meeting of minds and ideas aimed at reinforcing the City of London's reputation as the world's leading financial centre, a vital part of the economy. More than 85 participants from across the creative, technology, business, financial and education sectors, worked together to devise practical ways for the Square Mile to recover its reputation.

The Masters in Innovation, Creativity and Leadership has been one of our core activities from the start. A collaborative masters co-ordinated by us delivered by representatives from five of City's seven schools, the MICL (pronounced "the Michael") is considered to be a unique combination of skills, theory and practical application. It is truly interdisciplinary and aims to provide students with all the skills required to manage innovation.

In September 2010, we welcomed the first MICL cohort of 19 intrepid pioneers - a fantastic group of individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds and experience who we refer to as "the MICL'ers" ( pronounced "Michael'ers"). The course continues to go from strength to strength.

"I believe the MICL gives you an 'edge' that no other course does. The width and depth of areas covered means that you are constantly challenged and learning, often about subjects you won't have come across before, and take you out of your comfort zone.  It changed the way I approach work and indeed any life situation, and gave me new skills, insights and a great pool of people to share professional knowledge and experience with."

Sue Whittle, Enterprise Consultant, Partner, Perspectiv LLP, MInnov in Innovation, Creativity and Leadership

On the 13th June 2011, we hosted our first one day conference on Innovation, Creativity and Leadership. A full day event focused on sharing relevant research and practice from both academia and professionals as well as provide an opportunity for idea sharing and networking. The day was a great success, with 24 speakers, 134 attendees and keynotes from Professor Patrick Jordan and designer Michael Wolff. Based on this success, we have made the ICLCity an annual event.

[1] http://www.nri.co.jp/english/index.html
[2] Cox Review of Creativity in Business: building on the UK's strengths, 2005
[3] DTI Creativity, Design and Business Performance, DTI Economics Paper No.15, November 2005