Embedding an Everyday Culture of Creativity: Making Creativity Work in a University Context

  • Laura Speers
  • Nick WilsonEmail author


Universities are often thought of as creative institutions that promote idea generation, learning, and new and valuable thinking. However, the dominant mode of neoliberal economic rationality in the UK, with its increasing emphasis on student numbers, league tables, assessment, and performance, casts such perceived wisdom in doubt. Against this backdrop, in this chapter, we report on an “innovation project” that was undertaken during 2015–2016 within a UK-based university, which had the aim of embedding a sustainable “everyday culture of creativity” through trialling a programme of creative interventions. Our findings explore challenges encountered, including the dilemma of fostering creativity while not allowing it to become instrumentalized for goal-driven purposes. We highlight the significance of freedom, trust/permission, risk-taking, and communication as creativity enablers. The chapter concludes with key recommendations for “making creativity work” in a university setting.



The University and those directly involved in this innovation project have been anonymized. We are grateful to the project team, in particular, who provided valuable insights relating to the issues discussed in this chapter.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Culture, Media & Creative Industries (CMCI)King’s College LondonLondonUK

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