Thursday, April 23, 2009
Alex Pattakos on Prisoners of Our Thoughts
Drawing on his book, Prisoners of Our Thoughts: Viktor Frankl's Principles at Work, Dr. Alex Pattakos underscores the close relationship between creativity and the human quest for authentic meaning in life. Indeed, the intrinsic motivation to "actualize creative values" is one of the primary sources of meaning that defines our human-ness. Moreover, the will to meaning is based upon our individual and collective willingness to be held responsible--for our attitudes, our beliefs, and our behaviors. In this regard, Dr. Pattakos calls for a new paradigm that connects creativity with responsibility. In other words, we not only have a responsibility to be creative and to inspire creativity in others, but also to ensure that our personal and collective creative outputs are "responsible" and seek to make a positive difference in the world.
Dr. Alex Pattakos, affectionately nicknamed "Dr. Meaning," is the founder of the Center for Meaning and a principal of The Innovation Group, based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. He has had a long-standing passion for creativity as an academic (he began teaching creativity courses at the University level in the early 1980s), as an author (he's published extensively on the relationship between creativity and learning within complex organizations), and as a practitioner (he's worked in/with the government, corporate, and nonprofit sectors). In 1986, he received the "Creativity Award" from the University of Maine for his pioneering work in distance learning. The World Future Society credited him with inventing the concept of the "Electronic Visiting Professor" and IBM showcased his work as an innovation in academic computing.
More recently, Dr. Pattakos has integrated his passion for creativity with the emerging discipline of Innovation Management (see: www.seedsofinnovation.com ). Among his recent publications is the book, Prisoners of Our Thoughts, already translated into eight foreign languages, which applies the wisdom of his mentor, Dr. Viktor Frankl, to contemporary work and personal situations and provides a meaning-centered platform for innovative action. In addition, he is a member of the Honorary Advisory Council for the Statue of Responsibility Foundation (www.SORfoundation.org ), which seeks to erect a Statue of Responsibility monument, an idea that originated with Dr. Frankl, on the West Coast of the USA (as a "book-end" to the Statue of Liberty) by the end of this decade.