JANUARY 20,, 2010

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OSU Student Group Launches “Building a Creative Community” Challenge

A team of graduate students working through the Oklahoma State University’s School of Entrepreneurship in conjunction with the Creativity Initiative have launched a competition to promote innovation and creativity in the OSU and Stillwater community.

Entrants can submit their ideas for the “Building a Creative Community” challenge by Feb. 26, 2010 to Kip Kelley at kip.kelley@okstate.edu. The winning ideas will be those that present unique approaches to solving community challenges or improving the community, Kelley said. The entries should be achievable, sustainable and have a defined purpose. The competition is open to anyone.

The top three submissions will be awarded Orange, Black and White ribbons with corresponding $1,500, $1,000 and $500 prizes. Winning contestants will be eligible to receive planning grants to help develop their “Building a Creative Community” ideas and put them into action.

“As CIE scholars, we’re taught that creativity and innovation are not just things that are studied in a classroom,” said Blaine Rider, an OSU CIE scholar. “This contest takes our vision and applies it across Stillwater and the wider community. We’ve been empowered to think differently by our teachers. We are now trying to encourage and celebrate the creative ideas of others in making Stillwater and OSU better places.”

While all creative ideas are welcome, four general categories are suggested.

Social Entrepreneurship: Create or alter a venture that addresses a social problem (e.g., homelessness, pollution, spousal abuse, computer literacy among the elderly) with a creative approach or solution.

Culture Building: Develop a concept for enhancing the creative culture of Stillwater or OSU (e.g., establishing an arts incubator downtown, or a creative approach to recruiting students to OSU).

Philanthropy: Create a way to enhance the fiscal well-being of organizations or causes dedicated to improving the local quality of life (e.g., an innovative fundraising approach for Habitat for Humanity).

Campus-Community Connections: Identify creative ways to connect resources on the campus to the community, or resources in the community to the campus (e.g., architectural faculty and students working with downtown development, the local animal shelter working with students to address the abandoned pet challenge).

For inspiration one need look no further than the recent “Real Pokes Pass It On” campaign. This successful project, largely funded by a planning grant from the Creativity Initiative as part of the 2008 Creativity Challenge, arranged for OSU students, faculty and staff to donate their discarded yet reusable materials to the campaign which then resold the items to OSU students this fall and donated the profits to Stillwater Domestic Violence Services.

Selected projects will be on display for the public at the event’s Creativity Carnival on March 24, 2010 in OSU’s Student Union Ballroom. Winners of the contest will be announced following South African entrepreneur Ravi Naidoo’s forum, “Design, Creativity and the Transformation of a Nation” on March 25, 2010.

This event is being organized by OSU’s Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Scholars and the Creative Initiative directed by Dr. Melanie Page. For more information contact Kip Kelley at kip.kelley@okstate.edu, 405-744-3325 or Melanie Page at melanie.page@okstate.edu, 405-744-7334.