Each Tableau user has a story to tell. A popular theme is that visualizing data leads to insights that were never before seen. The hero of this story is the one who sees and understands data using Tableau.

But what about this insight? Rarely do we ponder where creative and insightful people come from. According to Sir Ken Robinson, they are made by nurturing their unique talents and passions.

“We are all born with immense natural talents, capacities, and possibilities,” he said during his keynote speech at TC15. In Robinson’s view of the future, talent and passion combine to create opportunities for work that feeds the soul and not just the wallet.

Robinson shared an inspiring talk on creativity, and why we should care about education and its impact on the creativity of our next generation of students.

He offered a witty and wry condemnation of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. He described the current U.S. educational system as one organized around conformity to a single core curriculum, and compliance that emphasizes standardized testing. There’s this notion that we can predict which job a particular student will have in the future, then build a linear curriculum based on that single job. Robinson called this “linearity of study.”

“Life is not linear. It is organic. We create our own life as we live it,” he said.

The future holds jobs building technologies that have not yet been invented. And it would be a mistake to lock in on the present as we do not know what the future holds, according to Robinson.

“The truth is nobody does know everything. You simply cannot,” he said. “Knowledge and understanding is a collaborative activity. It is a social fabric we all weave together. We all make our contribution and depend on things other people know for the security of our own knowledge. It’s a collaborative and dynamic process.”

Technology is shaping our culture at an accelerating pace, and only in our mind’s eye will we see what the future may bring.

Robinson proposes emphasizing diversity over conformity and nurturing unique talents in an interdisciplinary curriculum. That approach will help create a successful educational system that supports the as-yet-unknown challenges of the future.

“From imagination comes a whole set of other powers we call creativity,” he said. “Creativity is putting your imagination to work.”


I attended the Keynote of Sir Ken Robinson, it was inspiring.

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