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5 talks to jump start creative problem-solving

By Kelsey Bell / April 14, 2020

Creativity is the essence of turning imagination into reality, and you don’t have to be a painter or a musician to allow it to change your life—and the world—for the better.

This playlist examines the creative process of creators from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines, exposing their process and offering a peek into the many ways creativity can be applied in our daily lives.

How to Live a Creative Life


The secrets to living a creative life start with doing nothing, stealing, reading fiction, and ignoring NPR. Watch as Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and Tony Award-winning actor Tracy Letts shares the top ten ways to become your most creative self.

Improvisation and Chaos

Welcome to Jazz 101! Improvise with world-renowned jazz musician T.S. Monk as he steps behind his drum set and helps us incorporate spontaneity into the everyday.

Bring Your Imagination to Life


Elise Swopes talks about how her creative experiences bring to life new worlds, and how imagination can actually change your perspective, shift your own mood—or someone else’s.

The Engineering Behind a Hip-Hop Record

Best known for his work with Jay Z, Young Guru is one of the most legendary audio engineers in the world—but you may not have ever heard of him. While discovering how a hip-hop record comes together, we take a look at how creativity doesn’t always turn up in obvious ways to make all the difference.

Silencing the Creative Critic


Photographer Brian Bowen Smith has seen it all – he’s shot Hilary Swank on a white shag carpet, Gabrielle Union on a fly-covered beach – and heard it all, too. In this hilarious talk, he shares how to silencing the critics by trusting your gut, leaving your ego at the door, and more.

Bashir Salahuddin on Chicago’s Creative Scene

Can storytelling reshape the narrative of a city? Creativity has the power to bring us closer together and is a reminder that we are a lot more alike than we are different. In this conversation, we’ll dive into the revolutionary potential self-creation with Bashir Salahuddin to rethink power and highlight meaningful connections that can reshape the future of Chicago—and the world.