World Creativity Week inspires new ideas

Maris Lambie, Reporter

SUNY Buffalo State’s International Center for Studies in Creativity participated in this year’s World Creativity and Innovation Week, which promoted creative thinking and problem-solving skills.

World Creativity Week was held from April 15 to 21. It is something that is celebrated worldwide in over 50 countries including several states in America, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Peru, Malta and many more.

“It’s about people being open to new ideas, to make the world a better place,” said Marci Segal, one of the original founders of WCIW.

Segal graduated from Buffalo State with a degree in anthropology and was the first creative studies minor. Segal founded WCIW in Canada after a conversation with two co-workers, Paul Rousseau and Jacynthe Bedard. “It started because I saw a headline that said ‘Canada in Creativity Crisis,’” Segal said. “There was plenty of creativity in Canada. I got angry because creativity isn’t about who is and who isn’t creative. We all have it.”

WCIW started off as a daylong celebration in 2001 and has grown into a worldwide celebration.

“By 2002, people all over the world were celebrating. People loved the idea.” Segal said. WCIW became a weeklong event in 2006. During this week, organizations across the globe host events to encourage creativity and to encourage new ideas and innovations. “People have the opportunity to consider ideas they never tried, they can network, and possibly influence others,” Segal said.

There are many activities and events that celebrate world creativity week. In the past, Buffalo State has celebrated this week with various events and guest speakers at the Burchfield Penny Arts Center, hosted an international dance party, created posters to inspire others and hosted litter pick ups and film screenings.

“It is the time where we all pause to deliberately celebrate and articulate how important creativity is,” said Buffalo State ISCS professor, Susan Keller-Mathers. “Since we teach creativity here, this is something we do all the time. So this week, all of our classes are encouraged to be more deliberate in sharing what is being learned in the classes.”

This year for WCIW, Buffalo State held a Community Problem Solving Day, in which those who attended learned new, creative problem-solving skills by using the thinking skills model of creative problem-solving. Students on campus had also been working on a community project, in which they would create their inventions.

“In the CRS 690 project class, students are finishing up their master’s projects focused on creativity, sharing it with others for feedback and putting together presentations that they will share virtually with each other,” Keller-Mathers said. “We have creativity classes happening on campus, creativity classes happening virtually and faculty and students at the creativity Conference CREA in Italy this week.”

World Creativity Week is open to everyone. “It is my wish that every student would know about it and use the week to do something different. It is my wish that professors would know about it and tell their students, and it is my wish that administrators would know and encourage professors to talk about it,” Segal said. “While this week may be ending, it gives people the opportunity to prepare for this week in 2016.”

For those interested in World Creativity and Innovation Week you can find more information at

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