New Canada research plans and activities

As a Canada Research Chair, you have to propose a seven-year plan of research activities. As I take up this exciting new role, I’d like to present what I came up with for my work from 2018 to 2025. That seems terribly far away, of course, and I’ve never had anything like a seven-year plan before, but presumably there’s leeway for chairholders to pursue new avenues, as they arise. And I deliberately tried to make it pretty flexible.

I split the work into three themes:

(1) Platforms for creativity – to explore how best to support the development and exchange of ideas and innovation;

(2) Creative identities and leadership – to research new and diverse models of leadership and inspiration;

(3) Public understanding of creative practice – to develop new ways of engaging wider audiences with these issues.

Each of these three themes includes a set of different activities divided into two or three strands. I have set out all of that detail in subsequent posts (follow links above).

But basically the first one is about developing platforms for creativity (the concept outlined in this 2015 post), which can be any kind of tool, environment or event, online or offline, which fosters creative practice. The second one is about building diversity and inspiring role models in maker cultures. The third theme is all about public engagement and sharing exciting ideas about creativity with everybody, so of course I really like that one.

In FCAD, the Faculty of Communication and Design, at Ryerson University, I will also be doing activities including:

→ A weekly creativity drop-in at the Catalyst, FCAD’s new dedicated creative research space (opening this summer).

→ Launch of a major new network for makers (under wraps for now – details to follow).

→ Talks and workshops.

→ Mentoring and research support.

→ Building interdisciplinary links across FCAD and beyond.

When you’re confirmed as a Canada Research Chair in spring 2018, as I was, you have to wait until fall before you can announce it, because the government does a big-splash announcement at that time. So this is not an announcement. But I’m allowed to talk about my actual work as a Canada Research Chair, as long as I’m not making a corporate announcement. So that’s what I’ll be doing here. I took a risk by submitting a Canada Research Chair proposal which was full of non-traditional modes of creativity and communication and public engagement. I’m glad it worked, and I’m sure it’s going to be fun.

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