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Oklahoma Mourns Passing of Creativity Leader 💖

Creative Oklahoma Advisor and Global Creativity Leader Sir Ken Robinson Passes Away

August 21st, 2020 will be a date that Creative Oklahoma will always remember. One of our dearest friends, Sir Ken Robinson, left this world but will always stay in our hearts.

Creative Oklahoma wouldn’t be what it is if it weren’t for the vision and friendship of Sir Ken Robinson. At our very early stage in 2006, when the State of Oklahoma needed it, a group of extraordinary people, including Sir Ken Robinson, met to brainstorm on how Oklahoma could become a hub for creativity and innovation in education, commerce and culture. 



Creative Oklahoma Humble Beginnings
An International Movement with Sir Ken Robinson

Susan McCalmont, Creative Oklahoma’s past President, invited Sir Ken Robinson to Oklahoma knowing he will be the right person to lift up creativity and innovation within the State of Oklahoma.

” All of us here in Oklahoma who knew, and worked with, Sir Ken Robinson on the Oklahoma Creativity Project and Creative Oklahoma are deeply saddened by the news of his untimely death. Ken worked with a small group of us beginning in 2006 to create a vision for what could be – an entire US state that would adopt and implement principles of creativity in education, commerce, and culture – to become ‘the State of Creativity.’ Over 250 Oklahoma thought leaders gathered at the Governor’s Mansion in October, 2007 in an historic dinner conversation facilitated by Sir Ken, Governor Brad Henry and Burns Hargis, that launched the Creative Oklahoma initiative. Ken was the National Advisor for Creative Oklahoma and introduced Oklahoma to the international Districts of Creativity Network, thereby solidifying Oklahoma’s role on the global stage as the State of Creativity in the US.  Ken spent much time in Oklahoma visiting corporations, universities, schools, and speaking at several of the creativity forums and Creativity World Forums held in Oklahoma. He planted the ‘seeds of creativity’ throughout the state of Oklahoma hoping that ‘a thousand flowers would bloom.’

Indeed, Sir Ken inspired and impacted our students, educators, business and cultural leaders forever with his words and wit and his empassioned plea to live creatively.  He believed that each and every person is unequivocally born with creative capacities and that life’s journey should be a quest to discover and nurture those creative talents. He shared these tenets of creativity with evangelical zeal in hopes that a spark would be ignited within each of us. Sir Ken ignited a fire of creativity in Oklahoma that will live on within each of us.”


 – Susan McCalmont
   Past Creative Oklahoma’s President


” The legacy left to us by Sir Ken’s incredible mind touched thousands of Oklahomans who were inspired to expand their thinking and pursue things that ignited a significant creativity movement here. Those seeds of thought did indeed bloom into thousands of flowers that continue to inspire us today in every field. “


 – Meloyde Blancett
Current Creative Oklahoma Executive Director


Statement from Sir Ken Robinson website
Sir Ken Robinson PhD
1950 – 2020

Sir Ken Robinson PhD died peacefully , 21st August 2020, surrounded by family after a short battle with cancer.

A New York Times bestselling author, he led national and international projects on creative and cultural education across the world, unlocking and igniting the creative energy of people and organisations. Sir Ken was the most watched speaker in TED’s history, with his 2006 talk ‘Do Schools Kill Creativity?’ being viewed online over 60 million times and seen by an estimated 380 million people in 160 countries.

He was named as one of Time/Fortune/CNN’s ‘Principal Voices’; acclaimed by Fast Company magazine as one of ‘the world’s elite thinkers on creativity and innovation’ and ranked in the Thinkers50 list of the world’s top business thinkers. In 2003, he received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for his services to the arts.

A loving family man, Sir Ken split his time between Los Angeles, California and London, England, with his wife Thérèse (Lady) Robinson, their two children, James and Kate, son-in-law Anthony and granddaughter.

We will be following up with a further update as we begin to follow Sir Ken’s wishes and honour his legacy.


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