Keynote Address #1– Wednesday Morning

R. Keith Sawyer
Morgan Distinguished Professor in Educational Innovations, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Keith Sawyer is one of the world’s leading scientific experts on creativity and innovation. He uses qualitative and quantitative methods to examine the conversational dynamics of groups in real-world context whether classrooms, meetings, or informal learning environments. His research helps answer questions such as: Which teams are more creative? Which groups are more likely to contribute to more effective learning of the participants?

Sawyer's approach is inspired by his early empirical studies of the interactional processes in jazz ensembles, improvisational theater groups, and children at play. A jazz pianist for over 30 years, he performed with several theater groups in Chicago, as part of his research.

He is currently studying how teaching and learning are organized in professional schools of art and design, with the goal of identifying a core set of features to create more effective learning environments.

Dr. Sawyer's books include Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity, Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration, and Explaining Creativity: The Science of Human Innovation; he has published over 80 scientific articles.