“Expect the unexpected,” has got to be the unofficial baseline of the Creativity World Forum, and that makes it hard to capture in words. It is the flagship conference on creativity and annual gathering of the Districts of Creativity Network. This year’s edition took place in Aarhus, Denmark.

The CWF is each time organized by one the partners of the Districts of Creativity Network, initiated and coordinated by Flanders DC.

CWF 2017

CWF 2017

Every time again the CWF empowers its attendees with a drive to harnass the power of creativity for a better society. This time it was designer Stefan Sagmeister‘s passionate talk on the importance of beauty, Google creative director Steve Vranakis’ quest, as a son of Greek immigrants, to do something back for the immigrants that arrive at Greece’s shorelines. Or Researcher Vivienne Ming’s fascinating world of machine learning for the better and architect Indy Johar’s manifesto for a more inclusive society where everybody is empowered to work on democracy.

Steve Vranakis

Vivienne Ming

Vivienne Ming

But also the crazy world of Snask, a Swedish band & branding agency breathing creativity. Or the wry humor of urban planner Jan Gehl, who critised the way urban planning has been conducted the last fifty years.

“20 years from now, all we need are creatives and explorers” said researcher Vivienne Ming: not knowledge, but lateral thinking, social skills and empathy are what’s needed for the future. “Creativity starts with being the best human observer possible”, was what Tom Kelley, ceo of world renowned innovation design agency Ideo, said and he called empathy one of the most important design thinking tools. At the same time Stefan Sagmeister warned for pure functional thinking and added the power and importance of beauty in everything we create: “Form doesn’t follow function, beauty needs to be part of your quest as a designer”.

Along with the conference more than 60 students from over the world translated the words of the speakers into concrete projects and solutions in the DCLivingLab. During the international council of our network we shared regional strategies and projects on stimulating creativity.

The two days flew by. But behind the scenes we are already working on a new edition, because in 2018 the Creativity World Forum will again take place in Belgium. Follow the latest updates on www.creativityworldforum.be!