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Digital creativity: what it is and how to develop it

Creativity is fundamental in the workplace and, with the advent of digital, this skill has also changed its form. Here is what is meant by digital creativity and what are its tools

"It is intelligence that enjoys itself". This is how Albert Einstein defined creativity, one of the most amazing abilities of the human mind, because it is able to solve problems by breaking out of rigid traditional patterns. In a world where new technologies have invaded the daily lives of adults and children alike, creativity has also transformed, evolved and embraced the digital, giving birth to the concept of digital creativity, which merges an ancient skill with technological tools.

Creativity: a fundamental competence

The term creativity refers to that capacity of the mind, which enables human beings to solve problems, producing innovation. This process, therefore, implies a transformation generated by the introduction of novelty. Generally, a person is defined as creative when he or she uses an original approach to solve a problem, breaking out of established and traditional patterns, to arrive at an entirely unexpected and more effective solution. Creativity makes it possible to find new solutions that nobody had thought of before, allowing people to see the problem from a different angle.

Today, in an ever-changing reality, where reinventing oneself and staying up-to-date is the basis of all work and learning activities, creativity has also assumed a fundamental role in the world of work and school. This skill, in fact, is considered among the most important characteristics that a good leader should possess, in order to be able to fearlessly face constant novelty, abandoning obsolete approaches to embrace innovation.

The importance that creativity is assuming as a competence for the work of the future has also been demonstrated by reports from the World Economic Forum, which lists it among the skills most sought after by employers. Among the set of knowledge, skills and work habits important for success nowadays, problem solving and creativity have also been introduced.

Consequently, training has also had to adapt to the change. Learning, whether digital or traditional, is indeed a key aspect in the development of competences and skills, such as creativity. For this reason, it is crucial that educational programmes make use of innovative methodologies, designed to foster simulation and problem-solving with a fresh approach.

What is digital creativity?

New technologies have also transformed the traditional concept of creativity, allowing this new fundamental skill in the world of work to further break down the barriers it faced. In fact, digital has opened up a new world to mankind, made up of more and more inputs. And while the user finds himself inundated with information, new technologies make it easier to break down architectural, physical and mental barriers, making various work and training activities accessible to all.

Digital creativity refers to the ability to create content using both prior knowledge and the opportunities provided by new technologies. It means breaking out of the classical patterns, to connect even very different elements together, so as to examine a given situation from a completely new point of view. The aim is to arrive at innovative solutions, never thought of before.

Digital tools give the user the freedom to create completely new content from scratch, or to modify, combine and enrich existing content. It is precisely in this freedom that digital creativity is expressed, allowing users to play with knowledge and tools, giving free rein to their ideas.

According to the Mozilla community, creativity is one of the fundamental skills for success in the world of work. This skill in turn consists of five actions:

  • Synthesising already known information to transform ideas into new forms;
  • Connecting ideas through the use of organisational techniques, such as categorising, ranking or prioritising;
  • Comparison between one's own ideas and those of others, to identify similarities and differences and evaluate the most effective components;
  • Use of feedback, to be able to correct and revise one's products based on the preferences and criticisms of customers and users;
  • Clarity in presenting one's ideas.

The new skills

The digital world has inevitably changed human daily, school and working life. Indeed, new technologies have led to the emergence of innovative content, where text components are mixed with images, video and audio files, in the creation of a product never seen before. These changes could not fail to affect the skills required in the workplace.

These include creativity, which, according to Mozilla, is divided into four sub-skills:

  1. Remix: this is the production and understanding of the meaning of digital content, achieved by editing openly licensed online works. In this way, totally new content can be created and shared, taking care to cite the original sources and content that were the basis of the innovation.
  2. Revise: this is the action of revision, which allows the systematic examination of digital content, with the aim of improving it and possibly also modifying the work process. The evaluation of the workflow makes it possible to ensure its correctness and to identify possible actions to add or remove individual components (text, audio or images) in the digital product.
  3. Compose: this is the phase that allows us to organise the digital content to be shared, making it accessible. For this it is essential to think about the information and hyperlinks to be inserted in a web page or online space.
  4. Design: this is the organisation of the aesthetic vision of the product, which is constructed using prototypes, maps or sketches. It also consists of communicating the purpose of the presentation, using different contents.

How to stimulate creativity

Creativity, therefore, is a fundamental aspect of working life today. With new technologies, this skill has also invaded the digital world, which provides important tools for its development. But how, in general, to develop this skill that has become so important? Here are five useful tips:

  1. Do sport. Studies have shown the importance of sport in the creative process. Walking or running can be a good way to 'clear your head' and stimulate the birth of new ideas. Movement, in fact, allows the mind to leave aside the many thoughts and worries of everyday life, because it requires maximum concentration on the body. In this way, it will be easier to open up new horizons and find innovative solutions.
  2. Practice meditation to lower stress levels and encourage the creative process. Often, emotions and everything around us take over at the expense of concentration and creativity suffers. Thus, one can find oneself stuck in a problem, unable to find a solution. Banishing stress and negative emotions is essential to allow positive ideas to re-emerge and the creative process to start again.
  3. Read. Reading allows the imagination to develop, because it takes you into an invented world without fully revealing all the components. Unlike a film, in fact, a book leaves the mind free to imagine places, characters and situations, without putting any brake on the imagination.
  4. Visit new places. In this way, your cultural background will be enriched and the new horizon in front of you will allow the creative process to be stimulated.
  5. Use digital tools. Digital supports creativity. In fact, there are several online tools that enable the development of the creative process, allowing the user to train and cultivate the new skill that goes beyond mere creativity, but focuses precisely on the development of multimedia content. Among the various technological tools, one can mention virtual reality, which develops the senses and requires the ability to solve problems faced by the user.
  6. Do something you have never done, such as enrolling in a course on subjects or experiences you have never done. Creativity is more easily stimulated when you step out of your comfort zone.
  7. Create the right environment, or change it often, so as not to remain crystallised in one perspective. Change, in fact, can generate new ideas.
  8. Invent stories or experiment with role-playing. These are useful activities to develop creativity, because they require imagination, inventiveness and the ability to deal with new and often unexpected situations.

Digital creativity is a new frontier in today's world of work, where technology and digital technology have led to continuous evolution and the need to find ever new solutions to ever different problems. In this landscape, breaking out of traditional patterns becomes necessary in order to face the challenges that the digital world confronts us with every day. 

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