AAATF #12: (dis)Connected Creativity

Last week we teamed up to once again host the twelfth edition  of “An Afternoon At The Fronteer” (AAATF). A Fronteer event to engage and get inspired with like minded marketeers, business developers and ambitious individuals. 

Building on the thoughts of our colleague Martijn Catz  about Human Technology we centred this edition’s theme around a very top-of-mind topic: (dis)Connected Creativity:

(dis)Connected Creativity

We increasingly feel the impact of digital distractions. One moment you fully connect with someone. You are physically and mentally in the same place allowing to reach creative flow. Yet the tiniest buzzer on one’s phone can cause a distraction and it is most likely one of you will mentally escape to some place else.  

In a world where we increasingly immerse ourselves in digital distractions we constantly shift our focus from left to right. We are trying to make the most of time, but do we even make time to have time? Technology was supposed to support us in time efficiency, more often it is distracting us from deep focus, and we often end up being victimized by our email inbox. We neglect the need for deep focus, that enables the true future currency: creativity. Which in our field of work is more than ever crucial to crack complex challenges. 

An Afternoon At The Fronteer

We welcomed roughly 40 exclusively invited guests at our Fronteer Amsterdam Headquarters where we immediately caught them off guard by asking them to hand in their phones. Talk about #nomofobia; something we only recently learned as the “fear of being without cellular connection”. 

#Nomofobia: The fear of being without cellular connection

TEDX speaker, Digital Wellbeing expert and author of “Homos Distractus” Anastasia Dedyukhina, shared some mind gobbling insights on why switching off is the key to innovation. Online addictions are formed as we seem to experience dopamine boosts with every notification we receive. We process an average amount of 74 newspapers a day. 

Yet our brains are a tool to learn new things. Memory helps us focus and is the source for creativity and imagination. We are never bored and are always looking for instant gratification. Out of the box thinking requires a calm mind, but mental clutter blocks creativity. We should switch off and incorporate daydreaming into our daily routines. For example, Gavin Pretor even argues we should all look up instead of down to admire the clouds – he even instigated the Cloud Appreciation Society. 

Jan Willem Tijl – education innovator at Zadkine – spoke about digital distractions in the classroom. We can no longer interdict smartphone use in classrooms, but how can we reclaim students’ attention? Rather than forbidding the use, can we integrate and allowing its use in dedicated timeslots? The 20-5-20-5 in an hour seemed to be an intermediate solution. However educators self need to set the example. Our own behaviour reflects on generations to come.

The Fronteer Magic: co-creation 

With many insights for digestion we hoped to provoke the discussion around our behaviour both professionally and personally. We brought the ‘Fronteer Magic’ by dividing the audience in small groups and applying co-creation to boost creativity and generate a crazy amount of ideas to tackle our major distractions and make a positive impact on our daily lives. Another bit of magic was brought to us by our friends from DrinkwithMates, who pampered us with rum-cocktails! 

Fronteer’s approach allows for focus and accelerating impact, with tools that ignite creativity, enable to gain many insights in a short span of time, allow for strategy to flourish, and creates mandate & momentum for internal kickstarts. Are you curious on how to boost creativity in your business? Feel free to contact us for an offline coffee!

We collected an amount of €200 with the symbolic entrance fee to donate to our colleague Babke Hogenhuis who in support for OrangeBabies will go on a biking adventure in Zambia