Applied Creativity Labs for Young Inventors

IVE’s Applied Creativity Labs (ACLs) are designed to give children and young people the creative behaviours and thinking skills that when applied to real world challenges help them develop innovative solutions.

‘ “What we have concluded,” wrote Land, “is that non-creative behaviour is learned.” ‘
(Source: George Land and Beth Jarman, Break-Point and Beyond: Mastering the Future TodaySan Francisco: HarperBusiness, 1993)

We believe the opposite is also true; that creative behaviour cannot only be learned but taught.

Due to school closures in the light of C19, we are now offering Applied Creativity Labs online for schools and families to do, see below.


IVE’s Applied Creativity Labs (ACLs) aim to give children and young people the creative behaviours and thinking skills they need to develop innovative solutions to real world challenges.

We begin the process by presenting young people with an overview of what the ‘challenge’ is (ie. air pollution), we then deliver our bespoke creativity training and give them access to a resource-bank of ‘experts’ from industry, business and universities. Young people then explore, develop, refine and prepare to pitch their best original, applicable solutions to the challenge to a panel, dragon’s den style. The best ideas are considered for further development.

ACLs Online – #breathedeep

Normally we deliver ACLs direct to young people in schools but right now we are offering them for free online for any adult (teacher/parent/carers) to run with young people in their care.

The first challenge, #breathedeep, is to find new ways to reduce air pollution (deadline for submissions Friday 17th July 2020). Future challenges will include finding new ways to reduce food waste, youth violence and to improve mental health and wellbeing.

How long will this take?

A total time of two days – broken down into two half days (Steps 1 – 4) followed by 7 hour-long sessions (Steps 5 & 6)

How many young people can take part?

1-4 in a group – as many groups as you want.

Where do I start?

Print out or download the ACLS online step by step adult guide PDF, and progress through the content below with your group using the guidance.

What’s involved?

Step 1: Challenge Overview – Click to access the Presentation and Sheet 1 – Challenge Overview

Step 2: Divergent Thinking Activities – See ACLs online step by step adult guide.

Step 3: Expert Viewpoints – View the expert’s presentation’s and follow the notes below.

Step 4: Convergent Thinking Challenges – See Adult Guidance notes.

Step 5: Ideas Development – See Adult Guidance notes.

Stage 6: Idea Submission Preparation – See Adult Guidance notes.

Deadline for submissions for #breathedeep is Friday 17th July 2020.

Please download the Terms & Conditions, Frequently Asked Questions and Submission Form.

Get involved

Future Applied Creativity Lab themes will include: food sustainability; single-use plastic and waste reduction; flooding; knife crime; mental health and more.

If you would like us to bring an Applied Creativity Lab to your school or youth group or would like to get involved as an ‘expert’ offering your perspective on any of these problems please contact:

What are the impacts?

By applying creativity to real-world challenges – such as air pollution in Leeds – learning becomes ‘real’ and young people take an active part in creating their own futures. We enhance and develop the creativity of children, young people and also staff in schools (via our CPD programme ‘Developing Independent Learners’).

‘After a fantastic introductory whole year group session last week, both myself and the children were incredibly excited to start thinking of ideas to promote clean air today.
Before the project began, I naturally thought about different children of varying abilities and wondered who would be fully engaged with the project. What I have noticed in this session is that ALL children were fully engaged in the sharing of ideas. It was fantastic to see children who can be quieter in group situations share their ideas and really start to think about what could be possible (no limits).
It was refreshing to observe the children grab the opportunity of being creative thinkers, so often at school, they are bound by structured lessons and before embarking on long writes, we give them model texts and guide them through a series of activities. Thank you ever so much!’ -Teacher, Manor Wood Primary

Applied Creativity Labs:

  • Help young people think divergently
  • Develop problem-solving skills
  • Help young people think freely and more creatively
  • Develop their resilience, confidence and independence
  • Develop their team work
  • Develop their ability to innovate
  • Develop their critical thinking skills
  • Develop their presentation skills

Read the Final Impact Report from #breatheLeeds:

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