Our Core Principles

Make it feel truly 5C

The leadership, outreach, student participation, and location should all contribute to this feeling like an authentic collaboration among the 5Cs.


Show everyone how they can fit in
Develop ways to engage a wide variety of potential participants. This initiative will not be for everyone, but anyone who wants to participate should be able to find a way to easily plug in – the history major should feel as much a part of this as the engineer, the artist, the entrepreneur, and the activist.


Create permission to experiment and play
Support the expression of new and different ways of thinking, even those that don’t have a clear path to success. Develop structures to protect unusual ideas and mindsets. Create ways to compost a large volume of failed experiments.


Nurture connections
Bring people, ideas, and disciplines together. Support those collaborations. Creativity is strongest when unusual pairings come together.


Present ambitious challenges

Push participants to go beyond conventional boundaries – whether personal, disciplinary, institutional, or community. Tackle the seemingly unsolvable challenges, and get participants to try things that can’t seem to be done.


Cultivate generative mindsets
Foster an optimistic mindset. Use research and critical thinking skills to find & define the most pressing challenges and a maker’s mindset to address them. This is a place for thinking and doing.


Infuse some doing into all learning experiences
Find ways to get students to think with their whole bodies. Support efforts to externalize their thinking: this can be as simple as having students visualize ideas for a paper with post-its or mind maps, or as robust as a project that introduces change into the world.


Collaborative Creativity

What is “collaborative creativity”?

Collaborative Creativity is a way of approaching creativity (bringing new ideas, objects, or ways of thinking into the world) that recognizes how critical diversity, interconnection, and exchange are to the endeavor. Traditionally, the assumption has been that creativity is an individual pursuit, the bastion of the lone genius or the cloistered artist, yet many of the the most effective creative efforts are collaborative. We work to accelerate the creative development of individuals while emphasizing the ways in which they cooperatively contribute that that talent to a wide and diverse range of partners.


Why do we think Collaborative Creativity is important?
The interconnected nature of our world offers tremendous opportunities for problem solving, and the most significant challenges before us are so complex that no single discipline, mindset, or skill set will be able to solve them. The complexities that lie before us will require more than creative individuals acting on their own – it will demand that we refashion the way we bring individual skills and approaches to a vast, varied, and often distributed set of potential collaborators. While working together as a team is tough, the individuals – and groups – who can do that best are the ones who will have the greatest impact on our future.