Meet the first-ever recipient of the Sonophilia Foundation Summer Scholarship for Outstanding Young Scientists in Creativity Research Hannah Merseal. Improvisation, particularly in musical composition, is the heart and soul of her research focus.
As a neuroscience and creativity scholar at Roger Beaty's Cognitive Neuroscience of Creativity Lab at Penn State University, Hannah studies the cognitive mechanisms and neuroimaging methods of music production and cognition. Having recently concluded the second year of her PhD program at Penn State and with a BA in music and psychology from Wheaton College, she explores how improvising jazz musicians can integrate complex cognitive processes, like memory retrieval, motor planning, idea evaluation, and coordination with other players on the stage during a performance.
“Improvisation is creativity at its peak. I think what sets this apart from other domains of creativity research is that this is all happening in real-time. In areas like writing or the visual arts, a person can go back and edit their ideas, but in improvisation, the audience is right there. There's no time to change your mind because the processes of idea generation and evaluation are happening simultaneously.”
Listen to Prof. Adam Green, the president of the Society for Neuroscience of Creativity, as he talks about the new methods and developments in neuroimaging technologies as well as in neuroscience that might be of help to more people to reach new heights in their creative abilities and to unleash their creative potential.
Learning is a lifelong process. This mantra encapsulates the essence of what makes or breaks a young business. After all, arrogance begets ignorance. The founder and CEO of Silicon Castles, Andreas Spechtler is a Sonophilian by heart and an advisor for startups by nature.
Where do creative ideas come from? How does the brain piece together information in new ways to solve problems? What brain regions and networks are involved in our ability to come up with new ideas?
In the Sonophilia Foundation’s goal to answer such perplexing questions and make the study of creativity a tangible science, our partnership with Penn State University introduced us to a valuable addition to the Sonophilian family. Roger Beaty is an assistant professor of psychology at Penn State and the principal director of the Cognitive Neuroscience of Creativity Lab.
Sometimes, it’s the opportunities that jump out at us unexpectedly that tend to have the most impact on our lifelong paths. Stefan Beckers, the chief program engineer at Ford Motor Company, is a strong advocate for bringing more creative and critical thinking into all realms of life.
“Music and creativity – especially music – is just the language which allows us to express things in a logic way, in an immediate way,” Walter told Sonophilia. “We don't find the words for it. I'd rather express myself with sound and music than with words. I think creativity is a need. We need to express ourselves. And we’ve always had that need.”
Billy Andrews is the Sonophilia Pioneer! He is a Gold-status singer who has held hits in Germany's Top 10 Charts and sold over 200,000 albums. As one of the most innovative musicians of his generation Billy Andrews creatively connects the worlds of artificial intelligence and 3D printing, classical and rock music.
Culture is to knowledge as creativity is to joy. There is a human side to every creative endeavor. The trick is to locate it, to make creativity indispensable to our very being. Franziska Wizany, the cultural advisor at Saxon Mozart Society, formerly the Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg – the birthplace of Mozart – doesn't take for granted what it takes to bring forth the man behind the music. And we're not just talking about Mozart here.
Man and machine. Artist and computer. Analog and digital. Where is the point of intersection between these elements and how do they coalesce? Polish-born and Berlin-based painter Roman Lipski has made it his life’s work to redefine what it means to be an artist.
A sense of togetherness in a virtual world. During the global lockdown that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, messages of unity, compassion, understanding, and trust were widespread and continue to be so, even as many institutions and events reopen. Whether in education, in banking, in healthcare, in business, the concept of remote work slammed into our lives with a sledgehammer-like force, knocking us into a very alien reality. Karen Kusch, a partner at Kusch Consulting, has 20 years of corporate experience in the field of future work and global collaboration, so for her, this scenario hits very close to home.
As the conversations surrounding AI evolve and move past the all-encompassing, purely fear-inducing images of the Terminator, Trent predicts that AI will undoubtedly replace many blue-collar jobs, white-collar jobs, and many professions in between. Trent McConaghy wholly believes, however, that we must separate the idea of our work from the more pressing issue of leading a meaningful life.
“I am not a huge believer in this slogan that robots will take our jobs… Automation is a tool to bring efficiency and make certain processes better. If a process is great and you automate the process, then you might come to the next level of greatness. Of course, you will not save businesses just with automation; you might improve or reduce certain tasks, augment them… Start with the business question: what do we want to change? What do you want to use?” - Anastassia Lauterbach
“There are three main essential insights I've gained. First, development is closely linked to the ability to shape things yourself. Let people do instead of limiting their creativity by setting strict limits. Second, good cooperation is important. Until now, humanity has worked best when it worked as a team. Third, respect individual needs and personal goals, particularly because in large companies like ours, more and more attention is paid to diverse teams. That's why it's all the more important to consider the wishes and goals of each individual in order to achieve the greatest possible success.” - Holger Seier
“Creativity, especially in my work, is really about connecting the dots to see the bigger picture. Sometimes it's important to step just one step back and see what is happening, how things are happening, why they're happening, and how they can be addressed. Creativity is really using all your senses and knowledge together with your experience and experience from others, from other disciplines and with diverse backgrounds. It’s essential to have an open, broad mind and see the different dependencies. But also to execute – to pick up the ideas and bring them into something
"Creative leadership is a force that must come into play in order to overcome unexpected obstacles. Success comes from having a constant creative drive. Turning the creativity of the world, which everybody has some inside them, is the most valuable asset when it comes to making an impact… I think that’s probably the most important feature of being successful in life, because you have to keep an open mind and take into account all sorts of components and aspects of living and thinking and coming up with new ideas all the time. That's what I found in Sonophilia. It's agroup of people that are just outstanding.” - Jeff Burton
"Creativity comes from listening. It's not about wanting to own the value, but it is the love with which you give anything of value away", says the Sonophilian Jan-Peter Doomernik, who is building resilient and future-oriented infrastructures at the Enexis Netbeheer, one of the Netherlands’ most critical providers.
“Creativity is the energy you put into leaving the legible world that you're in, and exploring the less legible, uncharted, poorly explored realm that likely contain the framing, the solution you need to make progress and go forward. The combination of creativity and critical thinking, when applied to any problem stage, will allow you to determine where to explore, how to explore it, and how to move forward in a way that progresses and aligns the journey of those that want to do so.” - Andy Zmolek
“I've always gone into a job, thinking: what positive impact am I having? I think, especially in these days…having really high quality journalism gives people a sense of perspective on the world that is based on facts. Truth is so important and so meaningful, and that's a huge passion point for me.” - Christopher Keller
“It's about being there as a human,” she says, “having a holistic approach, not only thinking about a great project which can make a lot of revenue or… business success, but it's a way to really elevate people's purpose, people’s wishes, people's dreams and meet people who are on the same level with you. You directly connect and click and start working in that moment. Collaboration or futuristic thinking for me starts at this very human place… Sonophilia was where it all started.”
Now is our chance to embrace the future by understanding the past. Falk Kastell, a multi-disciplinary artist whose works excel on each level of his artistic activity and transcend time, is the Sonophilia Artist Fellow 2020.
The new episode of The Sonophilian features Holger Volland, the Vice President of the Frankfurt Book Fair and the founder of the Arts+, the digital content platform within the Book Fair. He is a passionate Sonophilian and claims that: "Creativity takes many years, if not an entire lifetime, to nurture."
Holger believes in using our creative nerves as an instrument to solve the problems of the world, to think up new and better ways of doing things. Creativity is a skill inherent in everyone—it takes only a willingness, a space and sufficient time in one’s life.
Absolutely agreed Holger!
Chances are, you’ve heard the phrase ‘think outside the box,’ but have you ever stopped to consider where that box came from, what’s in it, and who put it there in the first place? CEO and founder of FRAME Advisory and Sonophilian, Meg Charles-Horn, has made it her life’s work to help clients and new businesses break out of their boxes and limitations, which came about either by accident or design.
The concept of breaking out of boxes is about being seen, having an identity without being constricted by a single way of doing things or a single way of thinking. In essence, this is precisely what attracted Meg to Sonophilia. In a business and entrepreneurial context, Meg explained it’s “about identifying and seeing the authentic and going from there.”
For CEO and founder of the leading artificial intelligence company Arago Hans-Christian Boos is a Sonophilian. To him, time is everything. Time is the quintessential factor that we all must thrive on to achieve success. He is a man on a mission, a mission to bring AI to the forefront of creativity and innovative thinking.
In this episode he is talking to the Sonophilia's editor in chief Maryam Ghaddar on AI, leadership, creativity and his involvement with the Sonophilia Network.