Adobe's Change the World Challenge
Beyond simply developing tools that enable people to harness their creativity to communicate across print and digital media, Adobe has a long track record of championing the value of creativity itself. So it's no surprise that this week the firm released a study that supports this. Based on interviews with 1,000 full-time salaried workers aged 25 and older having at least a four-year college degree, Creativity and Education: Why it Matters, provided as a PDF, makes for some interesting reading.
Adobe draws the conclusion from the data that there is a "growing belief that creativity is not just a personality trait, but a learned skill." Based on the study, 85% percent of respondents apparently agree that creative thinking is critical for problem solving in their career and 68% of respondents believe creativity is a skill that can be learned. Nearly three-quarters (71%) say creative thinking should be "taught as a class - like math or science." Creativity as a component for problem-solving in a corporate environment is, of course, an acceptable way to channel the anarchic nature of raw creativity into a more socially acceptable goal than simply creating a work of art. After all, we've seen the broad acceptance of design thinking as a way to approach a wide range of problem solving. However, Adobe makes a point of not using this term, perhaps because the word "design" remains scary to some people — "creativity" is probably less threatening.
So what's the point of releasing the study? Adobe already provides a Student and Teacher Edition for both its applications and Creative Cloud, and hats off to them for that. But it would clearly like to carve out a larger role as a provider of products and services in the domain of education. The study thus provides some justification for courses devoted to the development of creative problem-solving abilities. And I can't see any down side to that.
Which brings us to Adobe's Change the World Challenge, which embodies this fusion of creativity and problem solving. The contest, which is open to students aged 13 and older, as well as their teachers, asks entrants to submit a short video in which they "describe how they might make the world a better place if they had a chance." All very nice. But the Adobe angle is that participants must create their video with the firm's Presenter 8 Video Creator, a free trial of which is available. The prizes are quite substantial, with a top prize of $2000, $1000 for second and $500 for third. Judging from the clip below, the app would seem to be quite flexible, so it will be interesting to see what the contestants come up with. Full contest details are available on the Adobe site. It's worth noting that more than a week has gone by and no entries seem to have shown up in the gallery, so I'd say that if you're talented and eligible, this is worth a shot.