Municipal leaders throughout Utah were introduced Friday to a second climate crisis, the lesser-known relative of global warming.

"It's a crisis of human resources," said Sir Ken Robinson, the knighted arts advocate, author and international leader in the development of creativity, innovation and education. "I believe it's related (to global warming). It's the responsibility of our cities to address it as much as (the protection of) our natural resources."

Robinson was keynote speaker during a luncheon Friday during the Utah League of Cities and Towns annual convention. The three-day event of workshops and training for municipal leaders wrapped up Friday night.

"It's always a great event," said Jill Remington Love, Salt Lake City Council member and new league president.

The value of people and their ideas was the common theme among speakers at the event, which also included presidential historian and author Doris Kearns Goodwin and Fortune senior editor-at-large Geoffrey Colvin.

Robinson is the author of the 2001 book "Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative" and next year's "The Element: A New View of Human Capacity." He has advised national governments in Europe and Asia, as well as international agencies, Fortune 500 companies and cultural groups about the changing needs of business, education and public organizations in the new global economies.

"Utah is rich with human resources," Robinson said. To better utilize those resources, city, state and national leaders need to develop a "culture of innovation," where creativity and intelligence are fundamentally linked.

Too often adults think they're not creative, he said, and yet all children think they are. As people progress in the education system, they're losing their creativity and replacing it with systematic learning, Robinson said.

Federally mandated No Child Left Behind is the type of education program that quashes creativity, he said.

"This is legislation that's leaving millions of children behind" because it focuses only on certain aspects of education and standardized testing, Robinson said.

"You can't have a culture of innovation ... if you betray or neglect the powers of imagination and creativity," he said.

Innovation, he said, comes from creative thinking and individuals connecting with their talents and releasing them.

"Our future depends upon different ways of thinking," Robinson said. "I would encourage you to think really ambitiously. ... Trust in your talent and those around you."


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