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Creative Flow: Thinkers and Change Agents

Creative Flow: Thinkers and Change Agents

By Kim Marie McKernan
Hosted by Anthony Billoni and Kim Marie McKernan, the Creative Flow Podcast Series features discussions with thinkers and change agents important to the Science of Creativity. We invite you to tune into the series to hear experts who are actively applying creativity, creative problem solving (CPS), innovation, and more to help change the world.
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Branko Broekman – Amplifying the Creative Mindset in Organizations

Creative Flow: Thinkers and Change Agents

Jennifer Gippel, Ph.D., and Paulina Larocca – Partnering Together on Creative Enlightenment on
Our sixteenth episode of the Creative Flow: Thinkers and Change Agents Podcast Series features Jennifer Gippel Ph.D. and Paulina Larocca, both living in Australia and graduates with an MS from the Center for Applied Imagination SUNY, Buffalo State. Jennifer delivers research writing workshops, facilitates creative thinking workshops, and won a prestigious award for a recently published paper. Paulina is the author of three published books on creativity and has her own consulting business in creativity training for NGOs and corporations. She leverages a 20-year career as an innovation expert for large multinational drink companies. Jennifer and Paulina are both passionate about writing, researching, and training on topics related to creativity. They discuss their partnership setting up a platform for writing about the Science of Creativity on called Creative Enlightenment. is a social media site designed for authors that want to write long-form articles about their area of expertise.  Through setting up this platform (search for Creative Enlightenment under publications), recruiting authors, and holding training, they have grown as individuals and formed a new community. Jennifer shared how she came to know about deliberate creativity through an online MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) called How to Ignite Your Everyday Creativity and how it opened up a world of thinking. As an Innovation Manager for a large organization, Paulina was curious about the relationship between Innovation and Creativity and discusses how writing her books have contributed to the field. Jennifer and Paulina share their views on the future of Creativity as a skill and a way to solve big problems such as climate change.  They each describe their creative flow and how they see writing as a way to contribute to diverse points of view, create opportunities to learn more deeply about topics, and share experiences. Paulina and Jennifer encourage you to be a part of a worldwide community of authors who share their personal experiences on practical aspects of creativity on the platform. To get involved, contact and check out a Master Class they are presenting to make writing easier and stress-free.
May 20, 2021
Branko Broekman – Amplifying the Creative Mindset in Organizations
Our fifteenth episode of the Creative Flow: Thinkers and Change Agents Podcast Series features Branko Broekman, a landscape architect and environmental engineer from The Netherlands. He has worked with organizations to amplify the creative mindset in his own consulting and facilitation business for over 15 years. Branko experienced the power of creative thinking when working as a project leader on the restoration of natural areas at the Ministry of Transportation and Water Management in the Netherlands. A consultant achieved such great results applying Creative Problem Solving that their leadership invested 500,000 Euro in the project. He became fascinated by the process, attending the Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI), and coming to earn his MS in Creativity and Change Leadership from the Center for Applied Imagination, SUNY Buffalo State.  He believes the same experience should be available in Europe and has worked with the Center to offer the MS Program he studied in Buffalo with an in-person option in Europe. They have already completed the first two cohorts and hope to have the third in 2022. Branko is a certified Foursight Advanced trainer and works as a certified Master Coach in intercultural Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). He shares many examples of his work in creative leadership projects at municipalities and ministries in the Netherlands. One success story led to one organization creating hubs of part-time facilitators who were empowered to spend 10% of the time working as a process facilitator of creative change throughout the organization Branko discusses the differences in culture between the Netherlands and other countries and how this impacts the creative mindset. He has been instrumental in training creative leadership and helping others evolve from “efficiency” to “effectiveness “in an organization. He describes his Creative Flow as working with his hands, sculpting, and creating in 3D, which emulates his process for idea development. Branko shares his deep understanding of deeper and deeper levels of applied Creativity. Don't miss his introduction to the concept of “Nearling” as part of a different dictionary of innovation.
April 21, 2021
Tabatha Mcnab – Finding Creativity in Food
Our fourteenth episode of the Creative Flow: Thinkers and Change Agents Podcast Series features Tabatha Mcnab discussing how she expresses her Creativity in food and cooking in so many ways. Tabatha's creativity knows no bounds. From catering soul food dinners to running a daycare to writing a cookbook, she is passionate about connecting Creativity and food.  She is completing her final semester for an MS in Creativity and Change Leaders at the Center for Applied Imagination, SUNY Buffalo State (SUNY). Tabatha describes how she found a love of food at a young age by cooking and being in the garden with her grandmother.  Cooking for her father at seven years old started her on a path that she continues today as a graduate student with her master's project.  She is working on a 20-30 -page children's cookbook with recipes and more called Tabfabulous Kid Friendly Cookbook. It features a scratch and sniff and touch and feel concept for the fruits and vegetables. Most importantly, it will help them understand nutrition and enjoy making meals. She shares how studying creativity has helped her personally and alos all of the people she connects with in her professional work and community service. She always incorporates food in unique ways, including a creative cooking presentation and demonstrating creative thinking styles. She wants to earn a Master's Degree in nutrition and a Ph.D. in psychology in the future. Tabatha sees the Science of Creativity going around the world and being a force for empowering people to be all they can be.
March 21, 2021
Hedria Lunken Saltzman and her Son David Lunken – Creativity as a Family Business
Our thirteenth episode of the Creative Flow: Thinkers and Change Agents Podcast Series features a mother, Hedria Lunken Saltzman, and her son David Lunken.  In this inter-generational discussion, we explore their work and how Creativity has impacted their relationship and family. Hedria, now 82, is a speaker, coach, writer, and authority in Creativity. She has presented and worked for fortune 500 companies on five continents and has earned her MS in Creativity and Change Leaders at the Center for Applied Imagination, SUNY Buffalo State (SUNY). She also served as President of the Creative Education Foundation (CEF) and wrote the book Square One at 51: What I did the day after I buried my life. David is the principal of Cedarcroft Advisors, where he helps leaders build effective teams and a senior consultant for PI Midlantic, a talent optimization consultancy. He is also on the faculty at CEF and a beloved presenter at the Creative Problem Solving Institute. Hedria describes her work and many achievements, from traveling to Turkey to start a conference to teaching introduction to Creative Problem Solving at MBA programs across the country. She had a profound impact as an early leader in the field and shares her work with FourSight and how it was her idea to include the "o" in the famous PPCo Tool for CPS. Her discussion of losing her first husband suddenly and how CPS became not just a career but the way she lives her life. David describes how his mother influenced and inspired him to use CPS from a young age.  While he teaches and uses the CPS methodology in his work, he prefers to frame it to clients in a way that helps to ensure meetings are productive, everybody is engaged, and there is a positive outcome.  He describes working with clients on retreats, team building, and a wide range of projects. You can feel the love and pride that this mother and son have for each other and how they have integrated Creativity into their family. They describe working with each other and David's other siblings and highlight a recent Zoom session, Hedria led with her ten grandchildren to discuss current social and political issues.  Don't miss this episode to see the impact that Creativity can have across generations of a family.
February 16, 2021
Five Creativity Students in Myanmar – Global Citizens Making the World a Better Place – Part 2
Our twelfth episode of the Creative Flow: Thinkers and Change Agents Podcast Series features five students who attended the Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Program in Myanmar in 2018 and 2019. This episode is the second part of our series about this program of the State University of New York, Buffalo State's International Center for Studies in Creativity founded by John Cabra, Ph.D.  The participants usedCreativity to transform, make history, and profoundly impact the people of Myanmar. Rakia Akter is a fourth-grade teacher in Buffalo who traveled to Myanmar to connect with people, cultures, and languages. This life-changing experience helped her be a better teacher and relate with her students and parents who immigrated from this country. Matthew Burch has a BFA in wood working and furniture design from SUNY Buffalo State and is a US Army Vet who went to Myanmar to work on new and improved techniques for funeral caskets. This work led to an opportunity to design a guitar-shaped casket for a beloved local musician and activist. This project became a life-changing experience for a new designer that made him part of the country's history. Jeremy Brewster participated in the Myanmar program twice and worked for over a year to develop a unique course to help students express themselves through art. This class became a unique, shared experience for people who don’t usually learn art at school and brought the students and teachers closer together. Ashley Daigle is an arts educator in Buffalo who was involved in delivering this course at a Monastery School and discussed co-creating a large piece of art. She discovered the difference and connection that art can make in lives. Maggie Giamo is a Visual Arts instructor in Buffalo Public Schools and a freelance artist who also taught the class. She discusses how she was able to connect with students at a profound level and shares her view of creative flow through the eyes of a teacher. This emotional discussion discusses how the University's program brings more meaning to each student's life and the far-reaching impact they had on the people of Myanmar. Don't miss the stories of five students who became global citizens and worked together to make the world a better place.
January 10, 2021
John Cabra Ph.D. – Using creativity to transform, make history, and impact the people of Myanmar
Our eleventh episode features John Cabra Ph.D., a professor at the State University of New York, Buffalo State's International Center for Studies in Creativity, a Facilitator at Knowinnovation, and a Fulbright Scholar. This episode focuses on his work as a Program Director of the University's Service-Learning and Civic Engagement program in Myanmar. Our next episode, part 2, involves five students who completed some meaningful projects in Myanmar over the past several years. John shares his path to Creativity as driven by serendipity because he had the curiosity to sit in on a friend's class and happened to walk in the wrong classroom. Ultimately, he completed his Master's Degree at the International Center for Studies in Creativity and became a faculty member.  He discusses how the program in Myanmar began by learning the story of his student Myo Thant. Myo Thant had a background in political activism and worked with Nobel Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Ky during a period of intense political upheaval in the country that involved both danger and struggle. He ultimately left Myanmar and become John's student when studying for his Masters in Creativity in Buffalo, NY, but had promised Aung San Suu Ky that he would return to help his country. The friendship and work of John and Myo Thant in Myanmar became larger than both of them. John discusses the impact as being so much larger than the projects completed to encompass bringing hope, freedom, and meaning for a country that has gone through so many years of trauma.  The influence on the students who participated involved a transformation for each of them to become a global citizen. This work is part of a larger trend John identified of using Creative Problem Solving to address "wicked problems requiring new thinking" that are increasingly presenting themselves in our societies. This program focuses on civic engagement and service-learning to offer students a chance to work in social justice and make essential contributions to society's betterment. As we will learn in the next episode, the result is bringing more meaning into each student’s lives. This emotional discussion touches on how creative flow can manifest from the impact of this work on individuals at an international level by touching the participants' hearts. He encountered so many obstacles when starting and continuing this program but was able to overcome each one. Don't miss this story of creating global citizens and how creativity is transforming, making history, and profoundly impacting the people of Myanmar.
December 22, 2020
Najja Bouldin - A Creatologist and Innovation Coach
Our tenth episode of the Creative Flow: Thinkers and Change Agents Podcast Series features Najja Bouldin, an Innovation Coach, a Leadership and Entrepreneurial Development expert, and Founder of Phoenix Innovation Group. He holds a Master’s Degree in Creativity from the International Center for Studies in Creativity, SUNY Buffalo State. Najja shares his path to Creativity, where he started studying for his Masters as a new father in the middle of a semester. After graduation, he launched his consulting firm to work as a growth coach and consultant for many large, international companies. He shares some of the creativity tools and frameworks he uses as a Creatologist and Innovation Coach. The story of his work with a physician that he called reverse engineering serendipity involved helping her break through a period of career disillusion to help make an impossible dream come true. Known for his work with disadvantaged youth 17-25 years old, Najja discusses how he validates their issues, appeals to their need for freedom, and gives them tools to overcome their challenges.  Best of all, he furnishes them with innovation fitness sessions that make them the victor of their own story vs. the victim. He also discusses cultural competence and its role in working with organizations to explore issues of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.  Don’t miss this episode and the opportunity to hear the story and wisdom shared by this leader, who is changing the field with his insightful perspective.
November 23, 2020
Susan Newhouse - Democratize Creativity for All
Our ninth episode of the Creative Flow: Thinkers and Change Agents Podcast Series features Susan Newhouse, Principal, Susan Newhouse & Associates, LLC, a strategic innovation consultant, expert facilitator trained in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®, and Executive coach based in Chicago, IL, USA. As a young person, Susan wished she was a creative person and throughout her early work life and education she was successful but had trouble finding her passion. A guidance counselor helped her realize she could work in a creative field and at the time of this podcast she has been living in the world of creativity for over 20 years. Known for impersonations, she studied intensive long form improv and has worked with large Fortune 500 companies at some of the preeminent organizations devoted to innovation. She discusses her experience at the Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI) where she started as a student and has been teaching since 2008 as one of the highlights of her creative experience. At CPSI she found her new family in creativity and enjoyed the greatest satisfaction helping people find their own creativity and flashes of inspiration. Susan discusses her ideas to democratize creativity for all and her belief that each person needs to find their own definition of creativity and learn what inspires them to be more creative. Her creative flow involves humor and laughter and here is a lot of this in this episode including an impersonation of Pee Wee Herman. Don't miss this episode. 
October 26, 2020
Noor Baig, M.D. - Making Pakistan a Nation of Lifesavers
Our guest for the eighth episode of the Creative Flow: Thinkers and Change Agents Podcast Series is Noor Baig, M.D., an emergency room physician in one of the largest hospitals in Karachi, Pakistan. Dr. Baig is currently working on his Master’s Degree in Creativity from SUNY Buffalo State and PhD. in Clinical Sciences at The Aga Khan University. Dr. Baig shares how he developed an interest in creativity and the ways he applied it with medical students to open up new thinking.  The story of creativity and his passion project is particularly moving. His mother passed away prematurely from a sudden cardiac event and he wants to prevent this tragedy for others. By applying deliberate creativity he has trained more than 2,000 people in CPR skills and is on his way to teach 10 million people CPR and life saving skills - making Pakistan a nation of lifesavers. Dr. Baig discusses what he has learned about using creativity in the world of medicine and describes his latest exciting project — a new app designed to help prevent COVID19 in Pakistan. It was developed in collaboration with other students in his Master's Program, who helped him achieve its recent launch on the Google Store.  Finally. we discuss his approach to creative flow and lessons learned in using creativity to help in the field of medicine in the future.
September 21, 2020
Guest: Juliana Sanchez Trujillo - Igniting Creativity in Latin America
Our seventh episode of the Creative Flow: Thinkers and Change Agents Podcast Series is Juliana Sanchez Trujillo. Based in Colombia, she is a Creativity and Innovation Consultant at Borealis Innovations. Juliana holds a M.S. in Creativity from the International Center for Studies in Creativity, SUNY Buffalo State is also a certified Prosci Change Management Practitioner, a Lego Serious Play workshop designer and FourSight facilitator. Juliana shares how she came to Buffalo to learn about the Masters Degree in Creativity program in the worst snow storm she had ever seen, yet knew the program was meant for her. She shares her passion for helping her clients, at Borealis Innovation, to put everything in place to make innovation sustainable in their own organizations, Her new business focuses on nutrition and wellness to help individuals to create the lives of their dreams. Through teaching and consulting she has trained over 7,000 people in Creative Problem Solving in Colombia, Peru, Mexico and Panama. She inspires people to increase sales, take their business in new directions, have a healthier family life, and most importantly deliver new purpose for their organization. She also discusses living happily in ambiguity and her approach to creative flow.
August 12, 2020
Guest - Brandon Williamson - A Slam Poet Shares His Life of Creativity
Our guest for the sixth episode of the Creative Flow: Thinkers and Change Agents Podcast Series is Brandon Williamson. He is a Creativity Consultant, an Admissions Counselor at Fredonia State University of New York as well as the founder and creator of the internationally recognized Pure Ink Poetry Slam. Brandon shares his love of all things creative and how applying the intellectual side of the topics that he studies helped him achieve successes with multi-cultural groups on the SUNY Fredonia campus, minorities in the Department of Justice and in diversity workshops. In this most entertaining episode, Brandon discusses how he uses a tool called Forced Connections in his poetry to help change perspectives so a poem can touch and move his audience. One of the insights he often shares in his workshops is “Creativity is the catalyst for change. Creativity is not the icing on the cake, it is the cake.” Listen to the end for a performance of one of his favorite poems called Buffalo Wings that ties into his feelings about his home, the City of Buffalo, NY.
July 20, 2020
Guest: Paolo Sbuttoni - Insights from a Global Leader
Our guest for the fifth episode in the Creative Flow: Thinkers and Change Agents Podcast Series, is Paolo Sbuttoni. Based in Italy, he is an experienced leader and thinker who is helping to grow the field of creativity on a global basis. From working as a creative director at an advertising agency to changing corporate culture as a marketing manager at a manufacturing company to starting the CREA Conference in Europe, Paolo shares what he has learned about applying deliberate creativity. A long time speaker and participant in the Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI) he shares memories and knowledge he learned from important figures such as Sid Parnes. In his charming and engaging style, Paolo discusses success stories including work on the CREA conference, an actionable win in a hospital environment and his professional journey to understand creativity. Don’t miss the lessons learned he shares including insights from his six year old daughter and his philosophy on creative flow.
June 23, 2020
Dr. Cyndi Burnett and Ismet Mamnoon- Creativity in Education
The guests in our fourth episode, hosted by Kim Marie McKernan and Anthony Billoni are Dr. Cyndi Burnett and Ismet (Izzy) Mamnoon, both thinkers and change agents in the area of Creativity in Education. Cyndi is a Creativity and Education Specialist and Izzy is the Founder and Guardian of Imagination at Beyonder. Both are graduates of the Master's Degree program at the International Center for Studies in Creativity, SUNY Buffalo State where Cyndi was also a faculty member. The focus of this episode is on the deep collaboration that Cyndi and Izzy have developed, starting with Izzy’s Master’s project and continuing with the Missouri Project. In just six weeks they developed a new online program to bring creativity to the education of gifted and talented students in the state of Missouri. That collaboration continues with Cyndi’s work on her Five Star Model for education on her new website, where visitors will be prompted to “Go Beyond” to access the deep resource Izzy shares on her website. You will be introduced to Izzy’s alter ego, Wanda, and learn about her powerful creative flow. Cyndi also shares valuable tips for harnessing creative flow both in her work and artistic life. Don’t miss this episode to learn how Cyndi and Izzy are is changing the world of education.
May 12, 2020
Laura Ryan - Creativity and Strategy
The guest in our third episode of the Creative Flow podcast series hosted by Kim Marie McKernan and Anthony Billoni, is Laura Ryan,  a change agent forging new ground in the area of strategy and creativity.  As an Advisor to the President, she responsible for Business Analytics and Strategy at Heritage Christian Services and uses the tools she learned in her Masters in Creative Studies and Change Leadership every day. Laura candidly discusses the reality of using creativity in large, complex organizations as part of an ecosystem for both strategy and implementation. As an engineer, she regularly combines Creative Problem Solving (CPS) with agile and lean methodologies to use the right approach for the situation. We also explore outcomes her organization has achieved such as reducing the time to onboard new employees from 20 to 5 days and how employees feel about the process. Equally important is Laura’s sharing her own creative journey and approach to creative flow. Don’t miss this episode to learn how Laura is changing the world.
April 25, 2020
Meredith Rutherford - Bringing Diverse People Together
The guest in our second Creative Flow podcast series hosted by Kim Marie McKernan and Anthony Billoni, is Meredith Rutherford,  a change agent in many ways, in both her personal and professional life.  With a background that includes serving in the Peace Corp in Ghana, working with the underserved in Rochester, NY and helping universities to champion service learning, she is now applying creativity to help transform healthcare through her work with the Finger Lakes Performing Provider System.  Working on the goal of “reducing unnecessary hospitalizations by 25% in 5 years” entails innovating, trying new things and a fearless approach to making healthcare more efficient and effective.  She shares how she is applying skills learned in the Creative Studies Certificate Program as well as Participatory Action Research and Appreciative Inquiry to bring diverse people together to address problems and engage people to be part of the solution.  Equally important is her own creative journey and approach to flow.  Don’t miss this episode to learn how Meredith is changing the world.
February 28, 2020
Matei Schwartz - Creativity and Branding
This episode features Matei Schwartz, a graduate student at the International Center for Studies in Creativity, State University of NY Buffalo State from Romania who is involved in helping "The Center" define a new brand.  Hosts Anthony Billoni and Kim Marie McKernan discuss with Matei the story of his career and how he came to study at "The Center." They explore the process used to help "The Center" define a new brand and the significance of this initiative for the future.  Matei also share his creative journey, what he is taking away from his education and how the alumni community can support him.  The episode ends with an inspiring discussion of Creative Flow.   Please share this podcast and help spread the word. 
January 23, 2020