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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Charlie Clark, long-time CPSI leader and mentor to manyin the Creativity Movement recently passed away at 88: A "Founding Father" in the Creativity Field, Author, President of Yankee Ingenuity Programs

Charles Hutchison Clark,88, passed away on January 21, 2009. Charlie was born in Philadelphia, PA on June 14, 1920, he was the son of Fred and Christine Gassner Clark. He was a world-class educational innovator, author of the classic book, Brainstorming, and past president of Yankee Ingenuity Programs, an organization dedicated to developing creativity and stopping brainpower waste in meetings, conferences and conventions. A creativity pioneer, he originated numerous educational methods to encourage creative thinking in a wide range of businesses, churches, associations, and government.

His book on brainstorming, a proven method to increase the free flow of good, usable ideas, was among the first on the subject. Brainstorming and other techniques that he pioneered such as "SLIP WRITING" and "MATRIX CHARTING" are now used worldwide. Brainstorming was first published in 1958 with a paperback edition in 1989. It has been translated into French, German, Japanese and Korean.

When the American Management Association distributed 107,000 copies of his management briefing brochure in 1980 entitled Idea Management: How to Motivate Creativity and Innovation, organizations throughout the US and seven foreign countries actively sought the benefits of his creativity workshops.

A leader at the Creative Education Foundation's Creative Problem-Solving Institute since its inception in 1954, he was honored with a number of distinctions throughout the years. In 1990, the Foundation bestowed its Distinguished Leader Award for his profound contributions to the creativity movement worldwide as a researcher, author and teacher and in 2003, he was inducted into the first Creative Problem Solving Institute Hall of Fame.

In 1985, The Odyssey of the Mind Organization gave him its Annual Lipper Award for his continuing contributions toward developing creativity in individuals in all disciplines.

Clark participated on numerous creativity panels and served as a contributing editor to the Journal of Creative Behavior, the authoritative professional publication on creativity, creative problem-solving and innovation. He also led many workshops on creativity for groups at Exxon, Shell, Chevron, Goodyear, General Motors, the National Association of Manufacturers and Department of Defense agencies, among others. His work to train Navy personnel in brainstorming techniques was featured in the New York Times and Life magazine in 1956. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1946.

A Harvard graduate who earned his MS in Education from the University of Pennsylvania, Clark was also a graduate of the Episcopal Academy in Philadelphia. He served as senior education and training consultant for the BF Goodrich Institute for Personnel Development at Kent State University; was President of Idea Laboratory, Pittsburgh, PA, and Vice President of the Center for Independent Action. While with that Center, he originated an "Idea Corps Plan" to help nonprofit organizations improve their programs and services.

Throughout his career, Clark demonstrated his strong unwavering commitment to the creativity movement by responding to what he declared were "new windows of opportunity as we face ever-increasing global demands for innovative ways to increase homeland security, create more jobs, and discover solutions to our crippling economy and health care system, among other challenges."