Thursday, October 13th, 2011
One of the key speakers at a major event that will explore “the challenges and opportunities of a super-connected world” warns that Australia needs to be much more focused on creativity and says short-term thinking is costing our nation dearly.

Social entrepreneur Tania de Jong AM will speak at Creative Innovation 2011 in November along with some of the world’s innovative business minds including legendary lateral thinker Dr. Edward de Bono, who has written over 82 books (admirers of his work include Richard Branson and Donald Trump) as well as Raymond Kurzweil who has 12 honorary doctorates and has been called “the restless genius” by the Wall Street Journal.

Tania de Jong says governments and businesses in Australia simply aren’t taking creative thinking and innovation seriously enough because they are heavily focused on short-term promises and profits rather than longer term strategic planning and growth.

Tania de Jong says creativity is a critical factor in making businesses successful in both the Australian and global economy. Tania believes that creativity is the strategic tool of the 21st Century.

It’s no surprise Tania is passionate about innovation. She is the grand-daughter of Slawa Duldig (nee Horowitz), founder of the world’s first foldable umbrella in Vienna in 1929.

Tania de Jong said, “Traditional thinking just isn’t enough in the year 2011. Linear and logical thinking are without doubt important but they are not enough to succeed in a global economy. Many futurists now clearly recognise businesses need to be placing much more emphasis on right brain functions.”

“Big picture thinking and an ability to conceptualise all come from the right brain. We’re just not doing enough of that. Ultimately the answers to so many issues in business lie in our imagination. If businesses just focus on profits, that is likely to be at the expense of their people. Short-term thinking won’t take people far. It isn’t just businesses. Frankly, governments are even worse.”

Tania de Jong says she does not believe that Australian companies are very creative in comparison to global counterparts. She said, “Our ability to turn ideas into commercial reality is definitely below where we should be. We have to bring all the elements of the innovation process into line: incubation, implementation and commercialisation. Major organisations like Google and IDEO understand this. Many don’t. If you focus on getting results quickly you won’t be allowing enough time to hatch incredible ideas. Sharing and co-creation is vital in the workplace.”

“Human beings were designed to use their whole brains. Yet the education system often focuses on analytical and logical reasoning skills. These are left brain skills. That means the creative imaginative right brain side is neglected. Often young people are now entering the workplace not equipped to think laterally and to consider “out of the box” thinking.”

“Numerous studies globally show a creative, inclusive organisational culture actually improves well-being, productivity and innovation. These companies simply out-perform their rivals. Google and Apple are a classic example of this.”

Tania de Jong bluntly warns Australian business needs to embrace more diversity in organisations, because diverse teams have been proven to be more successful. She highlights everyone has a creative voice, can contribute to ideas and needs to be listened to.

Tania says that Australia needs to invest much more in a creative education and says it’s vital we re-think the future in highly uncertain and complex times. She highlights a recent IBM study which revealed that creativity is seen by many corporate heads and public sector leaders as the most important leadership quality over the next 5 years – above global thinking and integrity. Tania cautions that many organisations are not focused enough on developing these critical skills.

She says we are in danger of becoming a society where disengagement, self-centredness and alienation are entrenched because people fail to capitalise on building relationships that are creative.

Tania de Jong highlights at a time when countries like China and India are rapidly getting richer, internal creativity and innovation are vital elements for success in the future.

She refers to companies such as Telstra and the IT company CSC who have now appointed Chief Creative Officers. These people have a strong brief to think beyond the conventional and to encourage employees to do exactly the same.

Tania de Jong added chief executives, boards and leaders should be rewarded for recognising that everyone in their workforce is innately creative. She says “out of the box” thinking shouldn’t be criticised and says creativity should be taught at all levels of education.

Strategically she says people should ask more questions to allow new possibilities and should use cloud-based software that allows sharing and development to happen any time, anywhere. She says companies should encourage risk taking because failure is part of innovation and says companies should create time for employees to come up with new ideas to benefit the company.

Tania is one of an impressive line-up of speakers in Melbourne from 16-18 November for Creative Innovation 2011. Tania is the Executive Producer of Creative Innovation 2011 which will see some of the biggest business and creative minds in the world gathering under one roof to look at how people can utilise technology and increase creativity and performance in an increasingly complex global environment.

Over 35 world class international and Australian speakers will address Creative Innovation 2011. Speakers at the event will include legendary futurist and inventor Raymond Kurzweil on his first visit to Australia. Raymond has been honoured by numerous US Presidents and believes computers will merge with humans in the coming decades. Remarkable global thinker Edward de Bono, philosopher Daniel Dennett, IDEO partner and Stanford Design Thinking expert Brendan Boyle and educational expert Stephen Heppell will also speak at the event.

Creative Universe and ANZ are presenting Creative Innovation 2011 to be held at the Sofitel Melbourne On Collins from November 16th to 18th, 2011. To find out more and register, just go to You can also contact Baldwin Consulting Group on 03 9645 9858 or ring Creative Universe on 03 8679 6000.


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Creative Innovation 2011

The world’s most creative thinkers are coming to Melbourne! Imagine a Conference that was out of the ordinary... that pushed the boundaries...with over 35 world class speakers and performers! Creative Innovation changing innovators, futurists, inspired thinkers and curious souls gathered together in an interactive community. It's a place to learn techniques and strategies, unlock and share ideas. A place to imagine the future. The theme for Ci2011 is: The challenges and opportunities of a super-connected world. Creativity is critical to Australia in making the transition to a sustainable innovation and knowledge-based economy. Creativity is also vital for unlocking human potential and increasing wellbeing. Innovation is vital for organisations exposed to globalisation, increasing competition, diversity among consumers and rapidly changing technologies. Learn and think with Raymond Kurzweil (USA), Daniel Dennett (USA), Edward De Bono (UK), Speciosa Wandira (Former VP Uganda), Brendan Boyle (USA), Paddy Miller (USA),Troy Flanagan (USA), Michael Rennie, Alison Watkins, Tan Le (USA), Stephen Heppell (UK), Simon McKeon, Pip Marlow, Steve Vamos, Rufus Black, Mehrdad Baghai, Hugh Mackay, James Moody, Amantha Imber, Hugh Morgan, Tania de Jong, Gus Nossal, Allan Fels, Stefan Cassomenos and many more...
Tania de Jong, Creative Universe
P: (03) 8679 6000


Social entrepreneur warns Australia needs to be much more focused on creativity because short term thinking is costing the nation dearly.



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