YES WE CAN: Evolution, the creative urge and hope

Further to my own creative urge to share and blog post of 14 November about employee morale and the creative urge, I have just read the latest edition of EnlightenNext, where editor in chief Andrew Cohen zeroes in on the creative imperative and the evolution of consciousness. 

The creative impulse expresses itself at all levels of the human experience. Any human being can locate it at the lowest level of their being—at the gross physical level—as the sexual impulse, which is really the presence or movement of the big bang as a biological imperative. But at higher levels of being, humans are the only life forms we know of that are compelled to innovate and to create. We can see this especially in individuals who are pioneers in their fields, whether they are great philosophers, musicians, artists, politicians, or poets. Most individuals who are deeply talented are driven by a sense of urgency, an ecstatically urgent sense that “I must bring into life this potential that I see and experience in the depths of my own being.” 

In reading this, I was reminded of a meeting to learn from Sonia Stojanovic, Head of Breakout and Cultural Transformation with ANZ Bank in Australia, some 5 years ago when I was just at the start of our own Innovation culture journey.

Sonja explained how some 300 of the bank’s top leaders underwent an intensive programme called “Breakout” that literally resulted in the breaking out of self-awareness, a personal vision and the creative urge to self-express and make a more meaningful contribution to the world through channelling their full creative potential. See linked article from ‘The New Visionaries – Evolutionary Leadership for an Evolving World’ by Soliera Green.

I also learnt over the weekend that on 15 October, the European Union agreed to make 2009 the Year of Innovation and Creativity, and through the World Creativity and Innovation Day Facebook group (the founder is Marci Segal in Toronto whom I met with her 3 weeks ago), I learnt that  Gary Spinks is launching a Business Creativity association for the UK. (There is already a very well-organised American Creativity Association. )

So, where am I going with this? 

Andrew Cohen continue in his Enlightenment article…

….whenever an individual or group of individuals awakens to this impulse, in a miraculous way the inner light of consciousness becomes infused with a passion and an optimism about what’s possible that is nothing less than life changing.

My recent world travels confirmed for me that the notion of creativity and innovation are no longer fringe trends, but becoming mainstream. All around the world, from Sao Paulo to Hong Kong, London to Boston, Charlotte to San Francisco, Johannesburg to Auckland, individual leaders and groups, in large corporations like my own, are awakening to the infinite possibility of the human imagination, and are becoming transformed through being participants and creators in the “global brain”.

I believe that thanks to the global connectedness, trans-border collaboration and open innovation enabled through the internet, this is not just a fad but a long-term transformational values shift of a global scale.

When business leaders, especially at the Millennial end of the spectrum, start practicing and leading environments where creativity, self-expression and enlightened spiritually can emerge, be nurtured and thrive, it gives me HOPE that collectively, we can truly live more ethically, sustain-ably and solve the world’s crises and challenges. 

Three weeks ago in New York, at the Museum of Modern Art, I had the pleasure of appreciating the story behind Gustav Klimt’s painting called HOPE 


Hope, II, 1907-08, Gustav Klimt
Oil, gold, and platinum on canvas

Enlightened leaders are aware of the umbilical chord that connects us all to our womb, Planet Earth, conscious that everything is connected and that the decisions of one can change the outcomes for so many.

And when you believe that through a single decision, such as a vote, you can change the world and make it better, that’s when “YES I CAN” turns into “YES WE CAN”- and we can all have the audacity of hope! 

We need to grow more leaders like this.  What gives you hope? 



  1. Dear Annalie,
    I share your thoughts 100% and pray for hope all the time. Please drop me an e-mail as I am needing to ask if you would join me in the organising of the Idea Festival on Barbados in June 2009. Christophe Poizat of INSE; Kenn Parks of Our 1 Planet and Kris Kimmel of the Idea Festival are on board.
    How would you like to be a keynote speaker at the UNESCO-endorsed World Creative Youth Forum in Bulacan in may of 2009 and AMP can sponsor you. The Sydney Morning Herald I am sure will do a feature on you and your mission which is to change the world with the yes we can
    My WCYF2009 website is
    Peace and Solidarity,

  2. Dear Prince Frederick, thank you for your message and I’d be delighted to assist you seeing I am already organising AMPLIFY-The AMP Innovation & Thought Leadership Festival for 22-26 June 2009, and can share contacts and ideas with you?

    Regarding your invitation, I am honoured. I will get back to you from my work e-mail address because it will require a direct invitation to our CEO.

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