Interdisciplinary symposium seeks factors that contribute to (or obstruct) creativity

The symposium "Creativity in Art and Science: Genius, Collaborative Processes and Networks" takes place at Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies on December 10–11, 2018.

Catalytic methods in creative work

The past decade has seen a rising interest in social studies of creativity as sociologists, psychologists, organizational scholars, economists and philosophers have worked to discover the social conditions that give rise to new and important ideas, concepts, and products. Each of these disciplines has employed a distinctive perspective on how to conceptualize, measure, and analyze the major social antecedents of creative work. Still, despite this excitement and these advances there is little integration of research across these fields.

The time is thus opportune for the integration of theories and research findings, and for the development of multi-method approaches to test theories of the social and psychological factors that contribute to (or obstruct) creativity. Additionally, the study of creativity is also particularly timely because universities are facing great changes and challenges. In addition to preparing graduates with knowledge and skills to work in existing institutions, academic institutes are being reshaped to apply creative research which is often reduced to the function of spearheading economic redevelopment.

Key questions to be addressed

  • Universities attract gifted students and professionals in all fields, but what are effective ways to nourish their creativity?  For example, are breakthroughs in a field more likely to be generated from those working at the high status centers of a field, or from those working in more marginal settings?
  • What kinds of creative work is likely to be done by those who bridge across structural holes and work in interdisciplinary settings, and what kind is likely to be done by those who work within densely connected, relatively closed networks within single disciplines?
  • While we know that working with mentors can facilitate creativity in protégées, under what conditions does interaction with mentors undermine the creativity of their protégées?
  • What kind of group developmental processes and group interaction are associated with highly creative groups that exhibit a cascade of innovations in a field?

Invited speakers include:

Eeva Anttila, Michael P. Farrell, Henrik Fürst, Alison Gerber, John N. Parker, Gary Alan Fine, Randall Collins, Keith Sawyer, Erkki Kilpinen, Kirsi Tirri, Susanna Lindberg, Ugo Corte, Antti Gronow, Anssi Smedlund, and Aasa Karimo.

Event details and links

See the full programme here.

Familiarize yourself with participants and abstracts.

The event is free and open to the public and takes place at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies in the Central Campus of the University of Helsinki (Fabianinkatu 24A, 3rd Floor).

Registration (for coffee and reception) by December 7, 2018.

More info

Get in touch with Project Planner Kaisa Kaakinen for more info (, 0294122493).

An interdisciplinary endeavour

The symposium is organized by an interdisciplinary group of scholars consisting of HCAS alumni Ugo Corte (currently at the University of Stavanger) and HCAS fellows Susanna LindbergMatthias De Groof and Kirsi Tirri.