Creativity: Outsourced and Outsized

Once again, talk about design is everywhere. Op-ed pages, weekly magazine covers, stump speeches, and a deluge of new books.

The main message seems to be: If you don't want your job to be outsourced, be a "Creative".

I'd laugh it all off if I had not just had lunch with a local creative firm in Pittsburgh who is outsourcing their creative brains to China!

This small firm can't find enough business in Southwest Pennsylvania, but they have an offer to give multiple presentations in multiple cities across China for high-flying fees.

For a kid like me, this is a refreshing turn, and I have to admit, a bittersweet revenge. Way back in the Reagan '80s, I was told by my high school principal, "You know, you should maybe major in engineering, to have something to fall back on in case this whole art thing doesn't pan out."

Dan Pink, author of Free Agent Nation and writer/blogger for Fast Company has a new book in the market, A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age.

Read Thomas P.M. Barnett's reactions to recent articles by Pink and Tom Friedman, whose book The World is Flat is fueling the fire of the left-side/right-side brain debate. (See a great visual synthesis of Friedman's interview with Charlie Rose.)

below: The Wes Anderson film about a fercely independent (and wacky) family of intellectuals is advertised next to the Chinese symbol of conformity. [photo by Anthony Hartman]