News Article

Innovative luncheon emphasizes childlike creativity

Thursday, March 12, 2015

MARION, IN (March 12, 2015)- "Date to Innovate" brought approximately 100 local business owners, employees, aspiring entrepreneurs and college students together in Grant County at the second annual Date to Innovate luncheon. The Grant County Economic Growth Council joined forces with Centric Indy to host the one-of-a-kind event that inspired attendees to unleash their childlike creativity while allowing them to meet and share ideas with their neighbors in business.
More than just an escape from the office, this casual lunch was as playful as it was productive featuring a series of speakers that fit the theme, childlike creativity. Jerry McColgin, president of the innovation consulting group Collidea, spoke at the Growth Council's Date to Innovate luncheon for a second year, a concept he helped inspire in Grant County. With the mantra "routine is the enemy of innovation", McColgin encouraged attendees to break from the status quo and ignite a spark of creativity in the workplace. By candidly sharing insight from past projects he has consulted and worked through, McColgin described real-world applications of childlike creativity.
Thaddeus Rex engaged attendees in an interactive songwriting exercise that highlighted the importance of storytelling in branding. The room contibuted to a heartwarming song about the City of Marion in a demonstration used to show the power of words in conjuring emotional attachment. Rex left the room with a deeper sense of artistry that ought to be found within a sales or brand-building process; again, the concept of "routine is the enemy of innovation" surfaced. 
Nathan Davison and Anna Roth shared a story of local innovation through their involvement with Madison-Grant Schools' e-learning initiative. When snow days add up for other schools in the area, Madison-Grant students are completing school assignments via virtual classrooms; while similar rural school corporations fight to keep existing classes and programs available, Madison-Grant schools are able to offer Chinese, college-level courses, and other niche studies comparable to magnet schools. Davison and Roth described the eLearning process and answered several questions from the curious audience. 
Wrapping up the event,  Nate Heck of Artrageous with Nate connected the importance of childlike creativity to a progressive economy in his high-energy presentation, explaining that art and creativity transcends all disciplines, careers, and industries.
"'I could listen to Nate all day! His passion for childlike creativity is inspiring," noted Michelle Bunker of IMG who attended Date to Innovate. 
The luncheon is an extension of Centric's Indianapolis monthly luncheons where area business owners and investors can connect to share creative business ideas, nurture novelty and, ultimately, breed a thriving culture of prolific innovation. The Grant County Economic Growth Council looks forward to "Date to Innovate 2015" after the inagural luncheon's resoundingly positive responses.
The Grant County Economic Growth Council is a private, non-profit economic development organization that works to facilitate investment and reinvestment for job retention and creation in the community. Events like "Date to Innovate" reflect the Growth Council's daily commitment to creating the optimal business environment in Grant County - a place where commerce and business talents can cultivate, prosper, and grow.