2018 Session Description

The Convergence Challenge
Navigating the emotional potholes of decision-making

For adults • 90 minutes
Category: Insight
Friday 10:45am • Court 16
Time and location subject to change (what isn’t?)

Have you ever taken a group through a fantastic idea generation process and then found that the ideas they converge around are not very exciting? Let’s face it: convergence is hard! As facilitators we often find that our groups tend to flounder, lose energy, and sometimes leave their best ideas behind as they move through convergence.

In this session we will explore why that happens, with a particular focus on the emotions around decision-making. To fully engage the potential of effective decision-making, these emotions have to be addressed. If overlooked, they can lead to group think, failure to secure buy-in, lack of novelty and wasted effort. If we can recognize, honor and leverage these emotions, we may truly be able to harness the power of divergent and convergent thinking.

In this exploratory workshop, we will unpack the challenges involved in decision making during this crucial stage of creative thinking. We will invite participants to share their experiences and the tools they use. We will offer some techniques that might help and invite participants to co-create new approaches that may meet the needs we identify in the workshop.

The Skinny: 3 things you will do in this session

  • Explore the reasons why convergence is hard
  • Identify the cognitive and emotional challenges that underlie the decision-making process
  • Explore alternative approaches to the convergence process

Copyright: tanewpix / 123RF Stock Photo

Ismet Mamnoon
Buffalo, NY

Hi! My name is Ismet and my friends call me Izzy. I am a Creativity Catalyst and while I focus on working with children and parents, I also work with businesses, local community, academics and even government organizations.

I like to think of myself as an “Optimist” because I think all things are possible. If I need something that doesn’t exist – I create it, if I need help – I ask for it and if I can provide help – I will give it with no strings attached.

I was recognized for my work as an Outstanding Graduate student by the President of Buffalo State College and for Student Excellence by the Chancellor of the SUNY system when I graduated with my Masters in Creativity. I recently spoke at a TEDx event and I travel all over the world to help people realize their creative potential.

Ismet is a returning presenter. Click to see what they’ve presented in the past.


Laura Barbero Switalski
Buffalo, NY

Laura is co-founder of the Center for Certification in Creativity (CCC), an organization devoted to the dissemination of creativity and the development of creative leadership and facilitation skills, in partnership with the International Center for Studies in Creativity, where she serves as faculty and program director.

Laura is a partner of Darwin Associates, a consulting firm in Buffalo, New York, specializing in organizational growth, creativity and change leadership. She works with organizations across North America, Central America, and Europe to facilitate creativity and innovation, help manage change and transition, and enhance teamwork and leadership. Born and raised in Italy, Laura lives in the United States, in Buffalo, NY, and has an extensive experience in working internationally and facilitating cross-cultural teams.

Laura holds a Master of Science degree in Creativity and Innovation from the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo State, where she is now adjunct faculty teaching a course at the Master program level. She a founding member and organizer of CREA Conference. Laura has coauthored the book Creativity Rising: Creative Thinking and Creative Problem Solving in the 21st Century, published by ICSC Press in April 2012.

Laura is a returning presenter. Click to see what they’ve presented in the past.


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