We’re igniting a national movement to build America’s Creative Brain Capital. Aiming for a 25% increase over the next decade — we use science to catapult artists into valuable innovation roles in our nation’s most promising organizations, companies, and cities.

Wonder Outside the Box

Led by the University of Colorado Denver and the Brain Capital Alliance, Imaginator Academy is a future of work skills initiative focused on creativity and social wellbeing in organizations. We call this Creative Brain Capital. Join us on a 10-year mission bringing together arts, science and business to reclaim a sense of wonder in the American enterprise.

Here’s why focusing on organizational-level creativity is important!

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Innovating Through Culture

Only 7 percent of companies benefit from the growth triple play of unified creativity, analytics, and purpose. Companies using just one of the capabilities—either creativity, analytics, or purpose—saw an average growth rate of more than 6 percent. Adding a second component saw growth rates climb to more than 7 percent. For those that employed the full triple play, growth rates climbed to more than 12 percent.

McKinsey & Company, 2021

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Creative Stagnation

Over the last decade, significant declines in American creativity, business dynamism, workplace social well-being, and youth mental health have been recorded (Kim, 2016; Akcigit, 2023; Murthy, 2022; Murthy, 2023). Meanwhile, despair, defined as the loss of hope, has been found to burden the nation’s wellbeing (Graham, 2021). These are a few examples of ongoing cultural shocks and shifts negatively impacting the creative capital of American labor and its innovation ROI.
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Theo Edmonds, America’s Creative Economy Evolution, 2023

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Creative Brain Capital

By scientifically measuring the cognitive, behavioral, and social assets of organizations, and then using these data to guide development of targeted artist innovation residencies, Creativity America will transform how business cultivates and leverages human creativity for economic and societal benefit. 

Brain Capital Alliance, 2023

Innovating Through Culture

Only 7 percent of companies benefit from the growth triple play of unified creativity, analytics, and purpose. Companies using just one of the capabilities—either creativity, analytics, or purpose—saw an average growth rate of more than 6 percent. Adding a second component saw growth rates climb to more than 7 percent. For those that employed the full triple play, growth rates climbed to more than 12 percent.

McKinsey & Company | 2021

Creative Stagnation

Over the last decade, significant declines in American creativity, business dynamism, workplace social well-being, and youth mental health have been recorded (Kim, 2016; Akcigit, 2023; Murthy, 2022; Murthy, 2023). Meanwhile, despair, defined as the loss of hope, has been found to burden the nation’s wellbeing (Graham, 2021). These are a few examples of ongoing cultural shocks and shifts negatively impacting the Creative Brain Capital of American labor and its innovation ROI.  ~Theo Edmonds, America’s Creative Economy Evolution, 2023

Creative Brain Capital

By scientifically measuring the cognitive, behavioral, and social assets of organizations, and then using these data to guide development of targeted artist innovation residencies, Creativity America will transform how business cultivates and leverages human creativity for economic and societal benefit. 

Brain Capital Alliance, 2023

Creative Brain Capital Model

CREATIVE BRAIN CAPITAL

Creative Brain Capital is the measurable cognitive, behavioral, and social brain skills of a group. We use these data to level up the creativity, innovation, and artistic expression within organizations, industries, and cities. Our three core vectors represent a blend of cognitive creativity skills, psychological and emotional skills, and group social processes, that research shows necessary for performance and resilience – especially during periods of change. Here’s three strategies we use for bringing them together.

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Cultural Analytics for Future of Work

Our data-supported, digital-forward, quantitative approach uses scientific methods to visualize where there are hidden opportunities to improve workforce creativity and social wellbeing. This allows us to find and act on emerging opportunities faster than ever before.

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Creativity Sciences

We get it. Creativity can feel threatening to some. But, creativity is only dangerous if you don’t know how to use it. We are connecting America’s top cognitive, behavioral and social brain researchers with artists and business leaders to create something extraordinary and meaningful.

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Creativity Alliances

Through public-private partnerships built on Creative Brain Capital, we have the audacious goal of building a national, interconnected infrastructure that seamlessly merges art, science, business, and education, all guided by a strategic blueprint for igniting transformational creativity across the American enterprise. 

1
—•—•—

Cultural Analytics for Future of Work

Our data-supported, digital-forward, quantitative approach uses scientific methods to visualize where there are hidden opportunities to improve workforce creativity and social wellbeing. This allows us to find and act on emerging opportunities faster than ever before.

2
—•—•—

Creativity Sciences

We get it. Creativity can feel threatening to some. But, creativity is only dangerous if you don’t know how to use it. We are connecting America’s top cognitive, behavioral and social brain researchers with artists and business leaders to create something extraordinary and meaningful.

3
—•—•—

Creativity Alliances

Through public-private partnerships built on Creative Brain Capital, we have the audacious goal of building a national, interconnected infrastructure that seamlessly merges art, science, business, and education, all guided by a strategic blueprint for igniting transformational creativity across the American enterprise. 

WHO IS GETTING INVOLVED IN CREATIVITY AMERICA?

Explore a few who have already said YES!

Ten Years & Three Bold Moves

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BOLD MOVE 1: Wonder Index

World Economic Forum ranks creative thinking as the #2 skill for future success, yet no national database scientifically and consistently measures this crucial asset. The Wonder Index fills this gap by measuring Creative Brain Capital. It quantifies the creative capacity of a team or organization AND the likelihood they will be able to unlock it.

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BOLD MOVE 2: Wondervation Pilots

Wondervation Pilots are interventions using the Index data to implement artist-designed/research-backed creativity skill-building interventions: New innovation rituals centered on Wonder, Trust, Beauty, and Joy. Research shows these as most critical for higher quality creative processes and outcomes, improved stakeholder wellbeing, and better product-market fit.

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BOLD MOVE 3: WonderWoot – Breakthrough Storytelling for Impact

Inspired by TED and SXSW, our final bold move is to create a national storytelling community focused on wonder—the art and science of being human. Our storytelling community hub explicitly tackles the tensions between arts, science, and business, enriching America’s innovation discourse.

BOLD MOVE 1: Wonder Index

World Economic Forum ranks creative thinking, self-awareness, resilience, and curiosity skills as four of the top five every company needs for future success. Yet no consistent, scientific measure of these crucial assets exists for companies. Wonder Index fills this gap. It is an evidence-based scorecard equipping leaders with the knowledge and tools to make Creative Brain Capital a critical component of their innovation strategy, identify skill areas for improvement, and measure progress over time.

BOLD MOVE 2: Wondervation Pilots

Wondervation Pilots are interventions using the Index data to implement artist-designed/research-backed creativity skill-building interventions: New innovation rituals centered on Wonder, Trust, Beauty, and Joy. Research shows these as most critical for higher quality creative processes and outcomes, improved stakeholder wellbeing, and better product-market fit.

BOLD MOVE 3: WonderWoot - Breakthrough Storytelling for Impact

Inspired by TED and SXSW, our final bold move is to create a national storytelling community focused on wonder—the art and science of being human. Our storytelling community hub explicitly tackles the tensions between arts, science, and business, enriching America’s innovation discourse.

Featured Article

7 Steps for Igniting the Brain Capital Industrial Strategy

ABSTRACT: Brain health also plays an increasingly critical role in an economy predicated on “brain capital” (which encompasses an individual’s social, emotional, and cognitive resources). The world is increasingly relying on brain capital, where a premium is put on brain skills and brain health. Along these lines, we define a brain capital industrial policy as a public sector strategy that focuses on building economic resilience through an emphasis on cultivating citizens’ brain health and brain skills to contribute to an innovative and thriving economy. 

Read Full Paper at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy

Lead Organizations

University of Colorado Denver

CU Denver is redefining the model of tomorrow’s public urban research university to lead to a more equitable and innovative society. That is why we seek to become the nation’s first equity-serving institution—an inclusive, supportive university where all can excel.

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Brain Capital Alliance

Following on from the success of the OECD Neuroscience-inspired Policy Initiative, the Alliance launched an expanded, multi-national, and multi-organizational program. Brain Capital is a new asset class that recognizes brain skills and brain health as indispensable drivers of the economy.  The Alliance brings together world-class contributors from various backgrounds to explore approaches to building Brain Capital at a societal scale.

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