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PR // Sir Ken Robinson

January 9, 2009

Acclaimed author and speaker at KANEKO, a new cultural non-profit organization located in Omaha, Nebraska proudly announces an evening with internationally recognized leader in the development of creativity and innovation Sir Ken Robinson.  Based on his latest book The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, Sir Ken will open the 2009 KANEKO Great Minds Series with a presentation that draws meaning from stories of people like Paul McCartney, Matt Groening, creator of the Simpsons, actress Meg Ryan, physicist Richard Feynman and many others.  The event will be held at KANEKO’s Bow Truss Presentation Space 1111 Jones Street on Thursday, February 26, 2009 at 7 PM.

Now based in Los Angeles, Sir Ken has worked with national governments in Europe and Asia, with international agencies, Fortune 500 companies, not-for-profit corporations and some of the world’s leading cultural organizations. They include the Royal Shakespeare Company, Sir Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts, the Royal Ballet, the Hong Academy for Performing Arts, the European Commission, UNESCO, the Council of Europe, the J Paul Getty Trust and the Education Commission of the States. He is currently mentoring the development of a statewide strategy for innovation in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Creativity Project.

Sir Ken Robinson is in high demand as an inspirational speaker with a unique talent for conveying profoundly serious messages with enormous humor and passion and wit. He speaks to audiences throughout the world on the creative challenges facing business and education in the new global economies. His book, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative (Wiley-capstone) is described by Director magazine as “a truly mind opening analysis of why we don’t get the best out of people at a time of punishing change.” John Cleese said: “Ken Robinson writes brilliantly about the different ways in which creativity is undervalued and ignored in Western culture and especially in our educational systems.” In 2005 he was named as one of Time/Fortune/CNN’s ‘Principal Voices.’ In 2003, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth ll for services to the arts.

KANEKO Executive Director, Hal France invited Sir Ken Robinson to inaugurate this year’s Great Minds Series. “Sir Ken’s work with people all over the world is focused on human potential and innate creative gifts. He believes that the widely held assumption that creativity is rare, is wrong, that all people have creative ability that this is often lost as we grow older. His wicked sense of humor, insights, detailed analysis and compassion has made him a compelling presence in the world today. He is the perfect speaker to come to KANEKO and open the Great Minds Series. We are thrilled.”

In 1998, he led a national commission on creativity, education and the economy for the UK Government bringing together leading business people, scientists, artists and educators. His report, All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education (The Robinson Report) was published to huge acclaim. The London Times said: “This report raises some of the most important issues facing business in the 21st century. It should have every CEO and human resources director thumping the table and demanding action.” He was the central figure in developing a strategy for creative and economic development as part of the Peace Process in Northern Ireland, working with the ministers for training, education enterprise and culture. The resulting blueprint for change, Unlocking Creativity, was adopted by politicians of all parties and by business, education and cultural leaders across the Province. He was one of four international advisors to the Singapore Government for its strategy to become the creative hub of South East Asia.

He is the recipient of the prestigious Peabody Award (2008) and the Benjamin Franklin Medal given by the Royal Society of the Arts in London (2008).

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