Robinson discusses innovation, passion at two lectures

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Robinson addreses a Seidman College of Business audience.
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Robinson addreses a Seidman College of Business audience.
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Talent meeting passion is the “element,” according to Sir Ken Robinson, author of the award-winning book, “The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything.”

Robinson was the featured speaker as part of the Frederik Meijer Lecture Series and Community Reading Project March 27. He spoke before hundreds in the Fieldhouse after giving a morning presentation at a Seidman College of Business Alumni event in the DeVos Center.

Robinson, professor emeritus of education at the University of Warwick, said there are several reasons why it’s hard for most people to find their passion in life, including denied access or lack of opportunity.

“There are constraints in the system of education which people have to labor under,” said Robinson. “One of them is, there is a very narrow view of intelligence that tends to permeate education. There is also a great pressure from the standards movement to narrow the curriculum so areas where people might well find their passions tend to be excluded from education.”

Robinson said while some know their passion at a young age, most find their passion over time. “It’s a process. Like falling in love over time. That’s how it happened for me with education and working with people. The key to finding your passion is what you are exposed to,” he said. “And, finding your element means you have to love it. You can be good at something, but not love it.”

At the Fieldhouse, Robinson told the audience creative innovation is not only a term for corporations, schools and universities. “It’s what we all can be doing,” he said.

Robinson is an internationally recognized leader in the development of education, creativity and innovation and consults with governments and Fortune 500 companies. He played a central role in developing a strategy for economic development as part of the Northern Ireland peace process and served with other advisors to Singapore when that government developed a strategy to become the creative hub of Southeast Asia.

His next book, “Finding Your Element” will be released in May.

The Meijer Lecture Series was established to provide local and national presentations that focus on issues of leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship. CRP is sponsored by the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies with support from many university departments.

DOWNLOADABLE AUDIO

* Robinson said education can be a barrier to finding one's passion (audio).

* He said denied access or lack of opportunity can be a barrier (audio).

* He said children give messages that can be clues to their passion (audio).

* He said his next book, "Finding Your Element," be will available in May (audio).