"Both creativity and critical thinking have been flagged as essential 21st century skills, yet some people think of them as being as separate as oil and water.  What's your take?"                 - Sir Ken Robinson
We live in an increasingly complex world and in order to survive we all need to be increasingly creative.  For Pictora creativity is not just about creating art, it is about looking more deeply at our world and society, and learning new ways and approaches to problem solve.
Our society and economy is in a period of change. As traditional industry declines it is being replaced by a Connected Economy, in which the individual can prosper through the development of their Creativity and its linkage to the new Connected Economy.  More and more, employers are responding by asking for creative skills.

For individuals from a disadvantaged background this transition makes them vulnerable as they already face austerity, unemployment and dated skills. 

It is however, a time of great opportunity for disadvantaged individuals who can develop their creativity skills and link them to the new Connected Economy. 
Creativity is often confused with artistry.  In this initiative it is defined as the act of coming up with ideas and increased awareness of how environments and people are networked/connected and how we can use this knowledge to increase our social capital.
The Pictora creativity initiative is about building a range of informal learning approaches and tools to empower disadvantaged groups, through the development of their creativity and helping them to flourish within the newly developing Connected Economy.

The initiative aims to help individuals to "excavate buried dreams", to move beyond pain and creative constriction, removing emotional scar tissue, resolve fear and learned helplessness, in order to articulate more effectively what holds us back, our dreams and positive goals.
For offenders/ex-offenders to embrace this new economy they need to develop their creative capabilities/understand how to make positive connections to increase their Social Capital.
Human creativity is endless, but for ex-offenders the words “No!” and “it will never work” dominate. Creativity allows one to learn about ourselves, develop fullest potential, survive in an ever changing world.
Creative senses need to be ignited, becoming aware of one's environment and wider community, thus developing empowerment in society, greater self-awareness and opening a new world of opportunities and engage in learning.  Creativity is a way of sharing meaningful things/ ideas and unlocking innovative capacity. 
 "A creative process may begin with a flash of a new idea or with a hunch.  It may just start as noodling around with a problem, getting some fresh ideas along the way. It's a process, not a single event, and genuine creative processes involve critical thinking as well as imaginative insights and fresh ideas." - Sir Ken Robinson
Understanding the importance of connection means, individuals learn the seemingly complex process which allows the swap of information/expectation/culture, learning to open up to others, which requires humanity/generosity. 
Learning to share creativity through the Connected Economy means that the individual needs to give up control over the outcome, to learn to work in partnership.  Giving up control over the outcome of ones interactions, allows others to make connections. 
Friends bring more friends, reputation allows the chance to build a better reputation, access to information encourages seeking  more information, making learning exciting, cross generational, rewarding, helping the individual ‘Learn to learn’.
As connections multiply, they increase in value as does social capital. 
The Pictora approach recognises the dynamics/potential of the Connected Economy and how by developing creativity linked to this economy we stimulate innovation, openness, diversity, and a new safety net for the truly disadvantaged in society. 
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