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COVID-19: we have one superpower that can save us

You see the truth of the matter is that creation, creativity is the force we use as a species to deal with adversity, challenge, and fear.

By Felix Kessel

The act of creation is a human being’s primal superpower. We don’t fly, and yet we do. We made that possible. We don’t breathe underwater, and yet we do. We can’t walk on the moon and yet we have. We can’t deflect the coronavirus and yet I have every faith we will.

You see the truth of the matter is that creation, creativity is the force we use as a species to deal with adversity, challenge, and fear. Maybe not on the direct fight or flight response but certainly as a way of never having to make that decision again in those circumstances. That is creativity at work. It’s the fear of facing fears that unlocks the box we’re in, the box that keeps us in the same circumstance.

Felix Kessel

The heart of creativity

Choosing to take it on, risks and all, whether it’s facing a fear, accepting a daunting challenge or dealing with adversity, and not just to overcome those things or yourself but to use your experience to solve it for everyone, is the heart of creativity. That is truly stepping outside of the box.

It’s not easy though. It’s a process of rejection, fear and unease as you battle to create something that has never existed before. It’s a skill that can be taught for sure but only by putting you through that wringer again and again.

Sound exhausting? That is the reality of the creative industries of the world. To be undone again and again beyond the point of exhaustion to ensure that you solve for something that has never been solved before in whatever circumstance you find yourself.

Dealing with uncertainty and pressure

From the writer staring at a blank page to the architect interpreting a brief, from the entrepreneur finding a gap in the market to the technologist pushing the boundaries of industry or the scientists and researchers finding a cure.

They are all failing forward, fast. They are the creatives of the world who’s everyday job is dealing with uncertainty and pressure and often without resources and yet still expected to find a way to solve a problem, deal with an issue, make something from nothing.

In these uncertain times, we should turn to the creatives. After all, right now we are dealing with something unprecedented in the modern world.

A novel threat that will require a novel response. Not just the disease mind you, but to the effect, it is going to have on everything we do, maybe even to most of what we are as a species.

The UN has put out a brief to the creatives of the world asking for their assistance to help turn the tide starting with communications and media.

The Loeries has done something similar for South Africa with ‘Wake The Nation‘ asking for a creative response to 6 key areas in deepening crisis: Helping the elderly, supplementing education, making public transport safer, dealing with isolation, supporting small businesses and boosting community morale.

In creative industries facing uncertainty with confidence is built into the DNA of the people in it. Problem solving is a required skill and cross-pollination of ideas through the exposure to multiple industries creates a fertile bed of potential. Tapping into this power seems to be a smart idea.

The problem is that it’s always thrown out to the creatives of the world as something else you should be worrying about over and above your day job.

Here’s yet another brief for you to find time for in your 25 hour day. It’s just not tenable in any creative industry where time is money and ideas are everywhere and rapid and powerful execution of those ideas is the only real currency. Where do you squeeze in the time to fit in just one more thing?

Wouldn’t it be great if we were able to create a place where we brought together fertile minds from every creative walk of life and supported them to find the solutions we’re all waiting answers for?

Lock them in a virtual room (social distancing is real) and let them have at it, free of the constraints of the every-day, free to find the answers, wherever they have to look for them with the money and resources to make it real.

Call for volunteers to step out

It worked for the Manhattan project. It worked getting people on the moon. Why shouldn’t it work to solve our viral/societal/environmental issues right now?

Let’s make the call for volunteers to step out of what they are doing right now and lend their enormous talent and drive, their ability to create something from nothing and harness that to solve for these issues.

Is this a cause? Maybe it is. Maybe it’s the right thing to do #ImCreatingTheCure for COVID-19, for the issues around the virus, for the environment.

So ask yourself, can we make a difference? Can we make it real? Better believe it. Getting dedicated people with powerful ideas and motivated action on the issue, you just need to leave it to the creatives. After all, we can make anything.

If you want a place to start, try here.