Aims of the Festival

The Emporium of Dangerous Ideas aims to re-establish the importance of dangerous ideas as agents of change in education – to shift the axis of what is possible! It is for everyone who is passionate about education including college, university, school staff and students as well as those engaged in education throughout the creative communities.

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Friday, 10 October 2014

Power to create – the power to act

 All human being can be the creators of their own lives?
Matthew Taylor, CEO of the RSA  give a powerful and convincing overview of the RSA’s vision last night as the  annual conference in Scotland.  What was particularly striking was the synergy between the RSA’s aspirations and those of both the Scottish Creative Learning Partnership and The Emporium of Dangerous Ideas

Matthew concisely drew attention to a number of reasons that creativity is vital, now more than ever, but he also focused on some of the barriers (some will be  familiar).

He argued that everyone has a right to live a creative life:

  1. People have a desire to be creative, and many make sacrifices in order to be involved in work that is focused more on self-actualisation, social good,  than economic security.
  2. With technology, particularly the social web we are able to develop our capacity: creating, collaborating, sharing.
  3. There is a growing demand for creativity e.g.  limited resources in public services demand we create different solutions; environmental challenges need different solutions.


  1. Continued type of elitism, with only certain people regarded as ‘creative’, causing divisions between people in education and work etc.
  2. Institutions have remained largely hierarchical with little opportunities for creativity.  There is little openness, trust and a firm belief that those at the top have the highest value ideas.  Need a different type of leadership.
  3. Policy is made by technocrats, rather than civic engagement that informs policy.  Policy only works when people are involved and see themselves as change makers.

Matthew was clear that creativity needs to be at the heart of all policy, and in particular education.

The RSA Scotland is keen to take part in next year’s Emporium.  How do we make the most of their willingness to engage with us?   

Click on the link below to watch a five minute RSA short describing the ’ Power To Create’ in more detail.  There is also a longer version of Matthew’s speech on the RSA website.


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