‘Florida’s Imagination Conversation’ Continues with 17 Working Sector Conversations Beginning October 16, 2012

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Ringling College of Art and Design today announced the beginning of the ‘Working Sector’ conversations on October 16, 2012 as the next step in continuing the progress made in the initial “Florida’s Imagination Conversation” launched on November 7th, 2011, in collaboration with the Lincoln Center Institute.

Futurist David Houle addresses the first Florida Imagination Conversation at Ringling College on November 7th, 2011 Photo: Carissa Warfield / Still Silver Photography

Florida and Sarasota were built on agriculture, retirement, real estate and tourism. Those will no longer be the economic drivers for the 21st century. How do we make this the Silicon Valley of creativity?

Ringling College of Art and Design today announced the hosting of 17 Working Sector Conversations on October 16, 2012, at the Longboat Key Center for the Arts as the next step in ‘Florida’s Imagination Conversation.’

The first Imagination Conversation in Florida was held on November 7th, 2011, at Ringling College in Sarasota. Florida and was keynoted by David Houle, Ringling College futurist in residence. The ‘Florida Imagination Conversation’ took a first step to how imagination, creativity and innovation can be incorporated into today’s business environment to shape the future of Florida. Over 200 enthusiastic business and community leaders from Sarasota and Manatee counties participated in this day-long forum.

According to Mr. Houle, “Applying creativity and imaginative thinking to the challenges and opportunities facing our community is particularly vital at this time. Florida and Sarasota were built on agriculture, retirement, real estate and tourism,” Mr. Houle said at the first Florida Imagination Conversation. “Those will no longer be the economic drivers for the 21st century. How do we make this the Silicon Valley of creativity? How do we make this whole region an incubator for imagination and innovation?”

The Working Sector conversations are being held from October 16 through November and will have leaders and participants in the following 17 critical sectors. These conversations will be identifying key challenges in their sectors and then working with trained facilitators to apply imagination, creativity, and innovation to foster potential sector action (from the familiar to the unorthodox) and prosperity.

Upcoming Florida Imagination Conversation Working Sectors:

1.    Arts and Culture
2.    Financial Services
3.    Technology/Communications/Internet
4.    Ecology and Sciences
5.    Education
6.    Marketing/Advertising/Media/PR
7.    Health and Human Services
8.    Philanthropy
9.    Government
10.    Legal/Accounting
11.    Interfaith
12.    Real Estate
13.    Sports
14.    Manufacturing
15.    Tourism/Travel/Hospitality
16.    Retail
17.     Transportation

According to Gina Ribeiro, Ringling College Manager of Creative Projects and Imagination Conversation Team Leader, “Our charter is to advocate for the role of imagination, creativity, and innovation in shaping the future of a diverse and vibrant community for all of us. To this end, it is integral that we engage leaders in all sectors – even those who wouldn’t normally think of themselves as being creative. The truth is that all great advancements have come as the result of applying imaginative and creative thought to vexing challenges. What we are doing here is identifying the challenges – sector by sector - and providing the framework for collective creativity to seek imaginative solutions. We are working in step with the local Economic Development Councils on this very important initiative since we all agree that creativity and innovation are so integral to the growth of our economy.”

Relevant Links:
Debra Jacobs, President and CEO of The Patterson Foundation, on the 2011 Florida Imagination Conversation.

Carrie Seidman’s Herald Tribune article on the 2011 Florida Imagination Conversation.

Photos from Still Silver Photography's November 7th, 2011 Imagination Conversation Shoot

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Rich Schineller

Christine Meeker Lange
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