Caden Koenig, Dexter High School
MSU professor Karl Gude fought ideas of conformity by encouraging the crowded room to think creatively at the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association summer workshop.
“The biggest power you will ever be able to wield in your life is creative thinking,” Gude said. “If there is discomfort in the room, creativity is present.”
Gude’s unorthodox style of relaying his message engaged his audience when he had 15 volunteers solve a problem without the use of their voices.
“Creative thinking is thinking differently in order to solve difficult problems; the ability to transcend traditional ideas and to creative meaningful ideas,” Gude said after his experiment.
Throughout the presentation his ideas are drawn back to why humans conform; however, people are not born with the intentions to conform to what society wants us to be.
“We conform because peers, family, religion, schools,” Gude said. “We need to remember why we should do things; it should be for the pleasure and pure joy, not for praise.”
Gude’s message pointed to one direct idea: “The reluctance to think different, puts us on a runaway train to mediocrity.”