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As Chief Imagination Officer of Creative Sage™, I live a passionate personal mission to cause the spontaneous combustion of creativity, innovation, and compassionate intelligence everywhere!

At Creative Sage™, we help corporations, nonprofit organizations, professional associations, project teams, entrepreneurs, consultants, authors, artists, performers and others to create outstanding marketing strategies, communications, solutions, services and products. We design dynamic, cutting-edge innovation programs that are tailored to our clients' individual needs for maximum return on investment in innovation management.

We coach and mentor executives, and we also coach accomplished, creative professionals and their organizations to revolutionize the concept of "retirement" and create powerful new lives, projects and initiatives, including Social Entrepreneur projects and partnerships between corporations, nonprofits and philanthropists. We use highly creative and effective methods to help people in mid-life or at any age to navigate transitions in business or in life. We'll coach your inner innovator out of hiding...we help you innovate to be great!


Cathryn Hrudicka & Associates was our original company name, where we've focused on marketing communications, public relations, fundraising, performing arts presentation, and management consulting in the entertainment industry and nonprofit arts. Known for our innovative approaches and story angles, and our strategic capabilities, we have also served a variety of business and technology clients, including working in various capacities on multimedia and marketing projects for Fortune 500s, major universities, healthcare companies, environmental/sustainability, and trade associations. We've also added social media and Internet marketing and PR to our mix of services. We bring your message to the world, and the world to you. Let's start a conversation!

~Cathryn Hrudicka, Chief Imagination Officer, Creative Sage™/ Cathryn Hrudicka & Associates


Contact Me to set up a phone or Skype appointment, or for more information. I look forward to discussing how we can help you or work with you to achieve extraordinary results.

Please scroll down for valuable links, news and resources. At the bottom of each page, click "next" to continue on to the next page. You can subscribe by clcking on "RSS" at the top right corner of this Tumblr log.


I'm honored to be a contributing author to the 2011 best-selling business book, A Guide to Open Innovation & Crowd Sourcing: Advice from Leading Experts, along with some of my innovation colleagues from #Innochat (Twitter Innovation chat and web site), and Innovation Excellence; the book was edited by Paul Sloane, with a foreword by Henry Chesbrough. You can order it here: http://amzn.to/OI_CS

I co-wrote the chapter, "Building the Culture for Open Innovation and Crowd Sourcing," with Gwen Ishmael and Boris Pluskowski — more information about all of the co-authors and the contents of this book at: http://bit.ly/OI_CS_Google

Sep 01
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ourtimeorg:

Happy Labor Day!

ourtimeorg:

Happy Labor Day!

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foxadhd:

Happy Labor Day

foxadhd:

Happy Labor Day

(Source: foxadhd.com)

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moma:

In honor of Labor Day, a powerful image by photographer Dorothea Lange. 

[Dorothea Lange. Kern County, California. 1938]

moma:

In honor of Labor Day, a powerful image by photographer Dorothea Lange

[Dorothea Lange. Kern County, California. 1938]

Aug 29
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Via reckon:

Don Pardo (1918-2014), Voice of Saturday Night Live, Suggests Using Short Words

Via Open Culture

http://www.openculture.com/2014/08/don-pardo-suggests-using-short-words.html

Rest in peace, and thank you for everything, Don Pardo!

#RIPDonPardo #DonPardo

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Solutions to some of our intractable global challenges could be found in 2.5 billion empowered, young and urban shoppers. These are the “aspirationals”, and the way they are uniting style and social status with sustainability values represents both an opportunity for business and a lever for change.

Aspirational consumers love shopping, but they also want to be socially and environmentally responsible and they respond to brands that take initiatives in this direction. While aspirationals are found all over the world, they are particularly highly represented in Asia’s emerging markets: 51% of Chinese people, and 58% of Indians, are classed as aspirationals.

Aspirationals are defined the same worldwide – based on how consumers answered questions about their attitudes and behaviour in research conducted by GlobeScan and brand consultancy BBMG (GlobeScan and its national research partners interviewed random samples of 1,000 consumers in each country by telephone or in-person during January to April 2014; the national results are considered accurate to within 3.5%, 19 times out of 20). Those in industrialized countries, however, tend to look beyond materialism, while their counterparts in emerging economies are more motivated by enjoying their new wealth.

Yet the social “face” aspects of conspicuous consumption, so visible in many Asian cultures, are far from the whole picture. In the Chinese mindset there is a strong, long-term, collective aspiration towards social and environmental progress. Urban citizens of emerging economies are also motivated by environmental conditions that are increasing their personal health concerns.

It is in Asia that the clean technology market is alive and well. Our research suggests that serious amounts of yuans and rupees are being and will be spent on people- and planet-friendly choices. For the foreseeable future, entrepreneurs and intraprenerus with clean tech solutions for consumers will get earlier traction in emerging markets.

Across cultures, aspirationals are particularly receptive to market offers in what is variously called the sharing, collaborative or “we” economy. In emerging markets, sharing a car, washing machine or other major appliance enables consumers to benefit from it more quickly than if they had to buy it outright, while greatly reducing its footprint, in both ecological and household budget terms.

[Excerpt, click on the link to read the rest of this post.]

From: The World Economic Forum / Forum: Blog — How the ‘Aspirationals’ Are Changing the World

By Doug Miller

***

At Creative Sage™, we love to work with clients on social innovation, educational innovation, healthcare innovation, and government innovation projects, as well as corporate innovation projects. Our core capabilities include creativity training and coaching, and the design and facilitation of innovation programs, including in the areas of design thinking, arts-based processes, applications of science and neuroscience tools when appropriate, and business model innovation. We have been very effective in helping organizational leaders and employees move through transitions and cultural changes.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss your situation and how we can help your organization move forward to a more innovative and profitable future. You can also call us at 1-510-845-5510 in San Francisco / Silicon Valley. We look forward to helping you find the path to luminous creativity and continuous innovation!

***

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Ten-thousand years ago, the brains of our hunter-gatherer ancestors had to focus on the basics of survival: getting food, fleeing predators and procreating.

Now, it can be hard to know what to focus on with Twitter, Facebook, email, smartphones and TV bombarding us with nonstop information. Headlines, rumors, status updates, videos and URL links can send us tumbling down an infinite number of rabbit holes of more information.

Little of it is likely to improve our lives in any significant way, says neuroscientist Daniel Levitin, a McGill University professor of psychology and behavioral neuroscience and part-time Orinda resident.

This “information overload” is one of the many concerns he lays out in his new book, “The Organized Mind” (Dutton, $27.95, 512 pages). We’re bombarded daily with the informational equivalent of 175 newspapers and have a half-million books’ worth of words stored on our computers, he says, but the 21st-century brain can’t take all that in.

Our brains — much like those of our prehistoric ancestors — want to pay attention to only one thing at a time, and trying to absorb so much information comes at a cost: The neurons are living cells that become fatigued if we work them too hard.

"Every status update you read on Facebook, every tweet or text message you get from a friend," he says, "is competing for resources in your brain with important things like whether to put your savings in stocks or bonds, where you left your passport, or how to best reconcile with a close friend you just had an argument with."

Whenever we feel overwhelmed by everything we need to keep track of in life, we talk about wanting to get organized, the Bay Area native says. Actually, imposing structure on the world is hard-wired into our brains, he says. It helps us gain a sense of control over our physical and mental environments.

That’s why — surprise! — a top Silicon Valley executive carries a notebook to jot down reminders. And a productivity expert resorts to list-making to clear his head every day.

Many of the best digital-age strategies are time-tested organizational strategies that still work beautifully, Levitin says. They’re backed up by decades of research into brain function and behavioral psychology.

Levitin is also a musician, record producer and dean of Arts and Humanities at the Minerva Schools at San Francisco’s Keck Graduate Institute. He penned two New York Times best-sellers, including “This Is Your Brain on Music,” based on his self-described mission to translate complex concepts into information that people can use in their daily lives.

Understanding how the brain functions can help us use its innate abilities for our advantage; it also can save us from fighting against its limitations, such as buying into the idea that multitasking will help us get things done. Here are some of the brain function basics that Levitin hopes will help us use our heads better to organize our lives…

[Excerpt, click on the link to read the rest of this post.]

From: The San Jose Mercury News — Digital-Age Dilemma: How to Cope with Information Overload

Post by Martha Ross, about Daniel Levitin’s new book, The Organized Mind (Dutton)

Aug 28
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Via misterios-da-alma:

History of Art
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If you have been paying any attention to the world these days, you have doubtless heard about mindfulness which Psychology Today defines as:

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.

Mindfulness is derived from Buddhism, but has been adopted by Western psychology and is widely used by the growing body of well being coaches around the world. It has also become surprisingly popular among individuals and businesses for its reputed positive effects on well-being.


My Proposal: Imaginativefulness

When it comes to being creative, I would like to propose a related state of mind: imaginativefulness. Imaginativefulness is a state of observing the world around you not only as it is but, more importantly, as it might be as the result of action taken by you, another person, an animal or a mysterious force. Imaginativefulness is the ability to see in your inner mind the multitude of possibilities that your environment presents. These possibilities need not be likely or even realistic. They simply need to be possible within your imagination. Indeed, seeing increasingly fantastic possibilities indicates a higher level of imaginativeness.

Imaginativefulness is very much like being a child at play, in which a box is not a box but a car, a house, a time machine or anything you want it to be; when dolls are not dolls but people who can do anything.

Imaginativeness is a form of creative exercise. It is a state of encouraging your mind to make likely and unlikely connections between things in your environment and information stored away in your mind. By imagining highly unlikely connections, you are being more creative.

Imaginativefulness is a state you should try to attain regularly, whether or not you need to be creative. For example: take a walk and watch the world around you. What do you see? What could you do to the environment you see? What could someone else do? What would an evil person do? How about an angelic person? What would happen if a herd of elephants ran through? Are there people in the environment? What are they doing? What might they do? What would happen if birds began singing Strauss’s Blue Danube the people you see started to waltz together? How would that look? What if the people were all strange looking aliens wearing human masks?

[Excerpt, click on the link to read the rest of this post.]

From: JPB.com — Imaginativefulness

By Jeffrey Paul Baumgartner

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This morning I saw an elderly woman in a wheelchair rolling down the sidewalk in the pouring rain just outside the coffee shop where I was writing. She was moving at a snail’s pace and I thought she might be struggling, so I ran out into the rain and asked her if she needed assistance or a dry resting spot. She smiled and said, “I appreciate it, but the rain feels great against my skin. I’m out here and going slow on purpose.”

I loved her sentiment – talk about the epitome of appreciating life. And truthfully, life is simply too short for anything less. When you’re young, you might feel like there’s a huge mass of time ahead of you. But trust me, it passes much faster than you think. You get grey hairs before you feel like a real adult. And then you have kids, and suddenly they’re off doing their own things. None of this is bad, of course. It’s an extraordinary experience, as long as you pause long enough to appreciate it all.

So that’s what I want to reflect on today – quick reminders about the things life is just too short not to appreciate…

[Excerpt, click on the link to read the rest of this post.]

From: Marc and Angel Hack Life — 20 Things Life is Too Short Not to Appreciate

By Angel Chernoff

***

At Creative Sage™, we often coach and mentor individual clients, as well as work teams, in the areas of change management, making personal, career or organizational transitions, and facilitating creativity and collaboration capabilities. We guide and mentor executives, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and creative professionals of all generations, to help them more effectively implement transition processes, and to become more resilient in adjusting to rapid changes in the workplace — including learning effective coping techniques for handling failure, as well as success. We work with on-site and virtual teams.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. You can also call us at 1-510-845-5510 in San Francisco / the Silicon Valley. Let’s talk! An initial exploratory phone conversation is free. When you talk with me, I promise that I’ll always LISTEN to you with open ears, mind and heart, to help you clarify your own unique path to a higher vista of success.

~Cathryn Hrudicka, Founder, CEO and Chief Imagination Officer of Creative Sage™, Executive Coach and Mentor.

***

Aug 27
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A couple of years ago, management thinker Charles Handy wrote a short article about the unintended consequences of good ideas. He starts by talking about the corporate towers that dominate city skylines and the inescapable irony that they have entirely glass fascia yet people can’t see inside as they pass by.

He talks about the accumulation of power (in other words, capital) behind these shimmering facades and traces the roots of this rise to the unintended consequences of two innovative developments in 19th century British law: the joint stock company and limited liability. He writes:

“By effectively separating the theoretical ownership of a company from its management, the [joint stock company] turned shareholders into something more like punters at a racecourse. Using shares as betting slips on the nags of their choice, they behave like neither trainers nor owners. As a result of … limited liability, managers gained their own license to gamble, at no personal cost.”


These unintended consequences were not only reinforced but extended through the rise to prominence of thinkers such as Milton Friedman, who declared that “there is one, and only one, social responsibility of business—to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits.

I’ve often thought about that short piece from Handy, and about how antagonising I find both Friedman’s theoretical obsession with profit and the fact that so many businesses render this idea into reality.

Here’s the rub: Profit as a measure will never be what we want (and increasingly need) it to be. We must move beyond the “profit proxy” as a shorthand way of determining whether a business is successful or not, and whether it is social or not.
Beyond the Proxy and Its Unintended Consequences

For a start, the profit proxy falls woefully short of capturing 99 percent of the value that an organization offers the world. It is a narrow definition of success that, as a standalone measure of anything but business model efficiency, belongs back in the 19th century.

But those of us whose purpose is seeking to create a better world have fallen into the same trap as Milton Friedman and his disciples. And there are substantial unintended consequences for how we build and invest in businesses to ensure they have positive social impact.

Although the social entrepreneurship space as a whole agrees that the pursuit of profit on its own is wrong, we are still obsessed with the concept. Our first instinct is still to look to the for-profit or nonprofit distinction as a proxy to the inherent social motivations (or lack of them) of an organization. We might be on the other side of the fence on profit, but we’re still playing Friedman’s game.

There is no shortcut to understanding how social or ethical an organization is. In fact there is real danger in believing that there is a shortcut, or that there some indicator we can use to quickly assess what a company is like on the inside.

By seeking to simplify the answer to such a complex question, the unintended consequence is that people will use the one proxy—in this case, profit and what people do with it—as the only one they need to think about.

What about the social impact of an organization that reinvests all of its profits back into its work, but has abhorrent employment practices and treats its staff appallingly? I could name four such organizations off the top of my head.

What the profit proxy really leads to—unintentionally—is the Potemkin village social organization, built with a shiny façade that echoes the gleaming corporate towers Handy spoke about but just as closed about how it operates.

We need to move on.

A new paradigm that is already playing out in markets and sectors across the world that isn’t about profit or not-for-profit, but about open or closed.

[Excerpt, click on the link to read the rest of this post.]

From: Stanford Social Innovation Review — Why the Future of Social Innovation Is Open

We must move beyond the profit proxy as a shorthand way of determining whether a business is successful or not, and whether it is social or not.

By Dom Potter

***

At Creative Sage™, we love to connect corporate leaders and entrepreneurs with good causes, and help companies start Corporate Social Responsibility, Social Entrepreneurship, or philanthropy programs that are a win-win for all partners.

Please do not hesitate to email us if you would like to discuss your situation and find out more about how we can help your organization move forward to a more innovative and profitable future, strengthening your branding and resonance with customers while helping to do good in the world through appropriate CSR partnerships with nonprofits, philanthropists, educational institutions and programs, or government agencies and community organizations. We can also help you connect with celebrities and other notable people who can help amplify your message of social good, or headline entertainment events and concerts for good causes.

You can also call us at 1-510-845-5510 in San Francisco / Silicon Valley. We look forward to talking with you!

***

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We all fail. As we go through life we have relationships that don’t work out, jobs that just aren’t right, exams that we flunk, initiatives that don’t succeed. The more new things we try the more failures we are likely to have. In fact, the only way to avoid failure is to do nothing new.

The important thing is how we deal with failure. It can be part of a downward slide in which lack of confidence reinforces feelings of inadequacy and incompetence. But experiencing failure can be a learning experience and an opportunity for a fresh start. A good way to begin this process is by asking yourself some tough questions.

[Excerpt, click on the link to read the rest of this post.]

From: Destination-Innovation — Five Questions to ask Yourself after a Setback

By Paul Sloane

***

Paul Sloane is editor of the Amazon best-selling business book, A Guide to Open Innovation and Crowd Sourcing: Advice from Leading Experts, with a foreword by Henry Chesbrough (Kogan Page, 2011). Cathryn Hrudicka, Founder, CEO and Chief Imagination Officer of Creative Sage™, is one of the contributing authors. You can order it here: http://amzn.to/OI_CS

Cathryn Hrudicka co-wrote the chapter, “Building the Culture for Open Innovation and Crowd Sourcing,” with Gwen Ishmael and Boris Pluskowski — more information about all of the co-authors and the contents of this book is available at: http://bit.ly/OI_CS_Google

At Creative Sage™, we can help you maximize the value of your open innovation and/or crowdsourcing projects and gain the insights you need to move forward most effectively. To discuss your organization’s situation, please feel free to give us a call, at 1-510-845-5510 (Pacific time, in the San Francisco Bay Area/Silicon Valley). You can also contact us by email and visit our web site for more information. We look forward to working with you and helping you get real results.

***

Aug 26
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Via The WhiteHouse:

When women succeed, America succeeds. Let’s keep working to give every woman the chance to realize her dreams.

Via The WhiteHouse:

When women succeed, America succeeds. Let’s keep working to give every woman the chance to realize her dreams.

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Via neurosciencestuff:

A long childhood feeds the hungry human brain
A five-year old’s brain is an energy monster. It uses twice as much glucose (the energy that fuels the brain) as that of a full-grown adult, a new study led by Northwestern University anthropologists has found.
The study helps to solve the long-standing mystery of why human children grow so slowly compared with our closest animal relatives.
It shows that energy funneled to the brain dominates the human body’s metabolism early in life and is likely the reason why humans grow at a pace more typical of a reptile than a mammal during childhood.
Results of the study will be published the week of Aug. 25 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"Our findings suggest that our bodies can’t afford to grow faster during the toddler and childhood years because a huge quantity of resources is required to fuel the developing human brain," said Christopher Kuzawa, first author of the study and a professor of anthropology at Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. "As humans we have so much to learn, and that learning requires a complex and energy-hungry brain."
Kuzawa also is a faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern.
The study is the first to pool existing PET and MRI brain scan data — which measure glucose uptake and brain volume, respectively — to show that the ages when the brain gobbles the most resources are also the ages when body growth is slowest. At 4 years of age, when this “brain drain” is at its peak and body growth slows to its minimum, the brain burns through resources at a rate equivalent to 66 percent of what the entire body uses at rest.
The findings support a long-standing hypothesis in anthropology that children grow so slowly, and are dependent for so long, because the human body needs to shunt a huge fraction of its resources to the brain during childhood, leaving little to be devoted to body growth. It also helps explain some common observations that many parents may have.
"After a certain age it becomes difficult to guess a toddler or young child’s age by their size," Kuzawa said. "Instead you have to listen to their speech and watch their behavior. Our study suggests that this is no accident. Body growth grinds nearly to a halt at the ages when brain development is happening at a lightning pace, because the brain is sapping up the available resources."
It was previously believed that the brain’s resource burden on the body was largest at birth, when the size of the brain relative to the body is greatest. The researchers found instead that the brain maxes out its glucose use at age 5. At age 4 the brain consumes glucose at a rate comparable to 66 percent of the body’s resting metabolic rate (or more than 40 percent of the body’s total energy expenditure).
"The mid-childhood peak in brain costs has to do with the fact that synapses, connections in the brain, max out at this age, when we learn so many of the things we need to know to be successful humans," Kuzawa said.
"At its peak in childhood, the brain burns through two-thirds of the calories the entire body uses at rest, much more than other primate species," said William Leonard, co-author of the study. "To compensate for these heavy energy demands of our big brains, children grow more slowly and are less physically active during this age range. Our findings strongly suggest that humans evolved to grow slowly during this time in order to free up fuel for our expensive, busy childhood brains."

Via neurosciencestuff:

A long childhood feeds the hungry human brain

A five-year old’s brain is an energy monster. It uses twice as much glucose (the energy that fuels the brain) as that of a full-grown adult, a new study led by Northwestern University anthropologists has found.

The study helps to solve the long-standing mystery of why human children grow so slowly compared with our closest animal relatives.

It shows that energy funneled to the brain dominates the human body’s metabolism early in life and is likely the reason why humans grow at a pace more typical of a reptile than a mammal during childhood.

Results of the study will be published the week of Aug. 25 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Our findings suggest that our bodies can’t afford to grow faster during the toddler and childhood years because a huge quantity of resources is required to fuel the developing human brain," said Christopher Kuzawa, first author of the study and a professor of anthropology at Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. "As humans we have so much to learn, and that learning requires a complex and energy-hungry brain."

Kuzawa also is a faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern.

The study is the first to pool existing PET and MRI brain scan data — which measure glucose uptake and brain volume, respectively — to show that the ages when the brain gobbles the most resources are also the ages when body growth is slowest. At 4 years of age, when this “brain drain” is at its peak and body growth slows to its minimum, the brain burns through resources at a rate equivalent to 66 percent of what the entire body uses at rest.

The findings support a long-standing hypothesis in anthropology that children grow so slowly, and are dependent for so long, because the human body needs to shunt a huge fraction of its resources to the brain during childhood, leaving little to be devoted to body growth. It also helps explain some common observations that many parents may have.

"After a certain age it becomes difficult to guess a toddler or young child’s age by their size," Kuzawa said. "Instead you have to listen to their speech and watch their behavior. Our study suggests that this is no accident. Body growth grinds nearly to a halt at the ages when brain development is happening at a lightning pace, because the brain is sapping up the available resources."

It was previously believed that the brain’s resource burden on the body was largest at birth, when the size of the brain relative to the body is greatest. The researchers found instead that the brain maxes out its glucose use at age 5. At age 4 the brain consumes glucose at a rate comparable to 66 percent of the body’s resting metabolic rate (or more than 40 percent of the body’s total energy expenditure).

"The mid-childhood peak in brain costs has to do with the fact that synapses, connections in the brain, max out at this age, when we learn so many of the things we need to know to be successful humans," Kuzawa said.

"At its peak in childhood, the brain burns through two-thirds of the calories the entire body uses at rest, much more than other primate species," said William Leonard, co-author of the study. "To compensate for these heavy energy demands of our big brains, children grow more slowly and are less physically active during this age range. Our findings strongly suggest that humans evolved to grow slowly during this time in order to free up fuel for our expensive, busy childhood brains."

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Good medicine is about more than a set of technical decisions or interventions involving drugs, operations and tests. It demands identification with another’s suffering, moral deliberation, wisdom and insight.

The arts can illuminate this view of medicine. But it is not enough to expose doctors training in medical schools to the humanities, and there’s more to it than the idea of empathy being “stewarded” by the arts. Art does not simply tick a box within medicine. Good medicine is realised through art as much as it is through science.

The Medicine Unboxed Creative Prize reflects this belief, and looks to champion a less reductive, less consumerist view of illness and medicine, and the human fragility that underlies them both. Our intention is, in the words of Francis Bacon, “to deepen the mystery”, by celebrating an authentic creative connection between art and medicine.

Since 2009, the Medicine Unboxed project has been bringing together the public, health professionals, politicians and artists to engage in a discussion about the values, beliefs, language and voices that inform medicine.

The conversations that have followed have been challenging, inspiring, sometimes funny and often moving.

In anticipation of this year’s annual Medicine Unboxed event – Frontiers, on 22-23 November – we launched an arts prize that aims to amplify the resonance between art and medicine. This year the prize, worth £10,000 for the winner, has attracted 80 entries from around the world.

The prize is unusual in that it is open to creative works in any discipline. It is also unusual in that, instead of simply entering their work, we asked artists to send expressions of interest to help our judges understand more about them and how they engage with our theme of the interface between arts and medicine.

[Excerpt, click on the link to read the rest of this post.]

From: theguardian.com / Science — Good Medicine Is Realized as much through Art as Science

The Medicine Unboxed Creative Prize champions a less reductive, less consumerist view of illness and medicine – and the human fragility that underlies both.

By Peter Thomas and Sam Guglani