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Getting ready for print
Publication date: June 2018
148% funded
372 backers

The Modern Skillset for Creative Problem Solving

Edited by Laura Jordan Bambach, Mark Earls, Daniele Fiandaca and Scott Morrison

“I’d rather have an economy built on ideas and creativity rather than routine” Kevin Kelly

We believe that we are about to enter a new Age of Creativity that will require a new set of super heroes to help the world thrive.

This book is aimed at making you one of those creative super heroes by helping you unlock and unleash your nascent creative super powers.

But before we do we need to find a way for you to remember what it was like to be a child. So go find a LEGO set and starting build off plan. Remember what it was like to be naturally creative (in the absence of a Lego set go to Youtube and watch the closing scene of the Lego movie -

How do you feel? Did it remind you of a time when life did not get in the way and everything was possible? A time when your imagination would run rife and it was easy to imagine yourself as a super hero. What was your super power? Flying the at the speed of light, X-ray vision, invisibility or the ability to turn your brussel sprouts into ice cream.

This book is about unlocking many of the key traits lost during childhood (such a fearlessness and curiousity) as well as unlocking new powers to help you solve your biggest business problems.

We’ll uncover the four biggest super powers:

Hacking - how becoming a hacker helps you tackle problems in different ways.

Making - how ‘Making’ opens up new parts of the brain

Teaching – how teaching yourself and others consolidates experience in a fast-paced world

Thief – how looking to what already exists helps you solve your problems.

We have also pulled in some of the existing super heroes we admire who are already solving problems in new and interesting ways to help bring to life the four areas of ‘Hacking, Making, Teaching and Copying’, which we believe represent the modern skillset for creative problem solving.

But, that’s not all.

As David Eriksson explains, the best learning is by doing. So we conclude this book with a set of workshops to allow you to hone your new super powers.

We set out with the aim of writing the most relevant book in the world right now for creative problem solvers across all industries. We hope that you can help us create a new set of super heroes who are going to help build better business and cultures. As Construction Guy says to Mr Business: “You are the most talented, most interesting and the most extraordinary person in the Universe. And you are capable of amazing things. Because you are the special”.

So avengers - go hack, make, teach and copy. Let’s make everything awesome.

Daniele Fiandaca

The book is divided into four sections each edited by a different expert

Hacker - Daniele Fiandaca

There is a new hacker culture developing which goes far beyond the stereotype of a computer hacker. People with the hacker super power simply enjoy the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming the limitations of systems to achieve novel and creative solutions. They understand that making lots of small changes, testing and learning as you go along, can be far more effective than big solutions which take time and can be burdened with process and sign off.

From culture hacking to growth hacking to social hacking, the hacker culture is transforming both business and culture and this chapter will help you understand the mind-set of a hacker and help you develop you own super powers. Hackers are open to new ideas, have a natural curiosity to learn, are not afraid to fail and love working with others. But most importantly are at their most powerful when they are making things better.

Confirmed contributors
• Ana Andjelic, SVP, Global Strategy Director at Havas Lux Hub
• Annicken R Day, Culture Strategist and Founder of Corporate Spring
• Hugh Garry, Co-founder, Storythings

Maker - Laura Jordan Bambach

Where does the new become tangible? Real? Who sets the vision of the future for others to follow? The British poet Arthur O'Shaughnessy (and Willy Wonka) once said “We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams”. It’s the experimentation, practical knowledge and the happy accidents of Maker that conceives of and breathes life into new ideas.

In this chapter we look at the Maker mindset, and how it propels creativity forward; from incredible craft, to skunkworks, to what we can learn from the world of invention. We explore how to create the magic, the relevance and the human mistakes that are central to generating big creative leaps. What does it take to be a Maker? Are we just doers? We explore the global Maker culture, and how we can make sure we do, more than say.

Confirmed contributors
• Kerry Friend – ECD Isobar South Africa and founder of NowLabs
• Lizi Hamer – CD Octagon Singapore
• Morihiro Harano – Founder at Mori

Teacher - Scott Morrison

"To teach thyself one must learn by doing”

A profound statement - but it’s not one that I found and translated from Ancient Greek or Latin. It’s something that is clearly etched in a generation of people hungry, not to engage in the classic paradigm of classroom teaching, but the endless curiosity of self exploration; a passion for constantly growing and learning through personal experimentation.

This chapter explores this interesting shift from the passive ‘teacher’ definition to a dynamic, self driven and highly active expression. It’s for those who constantly fuel what Carol Dweck calls their ‘growth mindset’, who want to explore how far they can develop and hear from those who have created frameworks to make this happen.

It’s for those who recognise that becoming a teacher for yourself is a lifelong commitment, powered by internal and external influences. I hope it inspires you to explore.

Confirmed contributors
• David Erixon, Co-founder, Hyper Island and Head of Digital, Ulster Bank
• David Pearl, Founder of Street Wisdom
• Sherilyn Shackell, Founder of the Marketing Academy

Thief - Mark Earls

Our ability to copy is probably the most important superpower we have inherited from our human predecessors. It means we don’t have to store information or know-how within our individual skulls but use the brains of others to do so - to outsource the cognitive load. Like all superpowers it can be used for good or ill but not to use it at all - or not to acknowledge it is both dishonest to ourselves, our inheritance and our world. When used well, copying is the way to create new ideas and things, faster, better and with more fun.

• Faris Yakob, Co-founder, Genius Steals
• Jon Daniel, award-winning creative

Introduction to Thief

Mark Earls

“The English, The English, The English are best” - Flanders and Swann

The English are a curious breed. Two millennia ago, the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius encouraged readers of his stoical meditations on life and leadership to remember their special status in the universe as Roman Citizens. The English still have a very similar view of themselves. Whether it’s the Old Etonian in a Notting Hill wine bar or the bedraggled England football fan who complains that “other countries don’t understand our drinking culture” there’s something about being English that thrives on a sense of superiority over others.

As a Welshman, born and bred, it’s not hard for me to acknowledge the many things of which the English are rightly proud (teaching the world sports and games that they can beat the English at is one such gift) and undoubtedly, English culture and the ideas of the English upper classes and creative gurus set the standard in many walks of life, in music, fashion and design, in all four corners of the globe. Despite - or perhaps because of - the nation’s refusal to learn to speak the language of other countries in anything but the most perfunctory manner.


Look like a creative superhero

Monday, 4 December 2017

Cs london 11 17 group shot

Hi backers,

To celebrate the book going into final copy (basically the book is now fully written!), we are launching our final pledge before they close - a Creative Superpowers t-shirt bundle. As well as getting your hand on the book before anyone else, you can now dress as your very own creative superhero. We really love the illustrated pencil symbol designed by Allan Kwok for the book cover…

First chapters coming in

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Jim jarmusch

Hi Backers,

Delighed to say that the first chapters are starting to come in. Well done Faris and Rosie Yakob for being the first to get theirs in. Their chapter is called "Same Same But Different: How Abstraction is The Key to Creativity" and talks us through their methodology of stealing (there is one). 

Here is a snippet:

Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don…

The future of literacy

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Quotes alvin toffler learn unlearn relearn tribal simplicity

A couple of weeks ago we got to present the Creative Super Powers overview to an audience of over 200 people. I am delighted to say that the feedback was excellent and all bodes well for the book which is starting to take shape nicely.

You can see the deck from the night here and there is a great deeper write up of the event here by the Young Creative Council. Stealing some things from that…

Thanks and FAQs

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Creative super powers cover 02

Happy New Year to all our supporters and a massive thanks for believing in us. We have always been super excited by the idea of writing a book about the new Creative Super Powers of Hacking, Making, Teaching and Thieving and it is lovely to hear that so many of you are just as excited about reading it. We have pulled together an amazing collection of contributors and we can’t wait to read their…

A Trip to the Zoo

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Creative Social spoke to Mark Earls, behavioural expert and creator of HERD. Read about it here, and what you can expect if you pledge to visit the zoo with him. 



Samantha Smith
Samantha Smith asked:

Hi, very interesting. Not sure 'Thief' is the right word. Has very negative connotations. Mimicry might be more accurate. Children do this all the time. They are not all 'thieves'.
Regards, Samantha

Daniele Fiandaca
Daniele Fiandaca replied:

Hi Samantha. Thanks for your comments. There are a number of words you can use and Mimicry and Copy are certainly different options. However we landed on Thief in the end and hope to show how 'stealing' is not always negative. Hope you get the chance to read the book. Thanks

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