Creative Oklahoma president: Oklahoma earning reputation as hub of innovation

  • February 28, 2015

NEWSOK: Susan McCalmont – Oklahoma — the “hub” of creativity and innovation in North America! This claim is still a surprise to many Oklahomans who may not know, or believe, that our young state received this designation from the International Districts of Creativity Network and remains the only official creativity and innovation region in North America

Ten years ago, a small group of Oklahomans from across all sectors came together to see if Oklahoma’s perception could be changed by focusing on the ingenuity and inventiveness of our people. As a relatively small, young state it is amazing to see the number of Oklahomans who have made, and continue to make, national and international contributions in the fields of aeronautics, medicine, music, film and energy.

The idea emerged to form a statewide network that would connect education, commerce and culture sectors in the state and then determine ways to promote the creativity of our people and help grow the state’s innovation quotient. That summit led to the formation of Creative Oklahoma, which has helped put Oklahoma on the world stage as a center of creativity and innovation.

Next month, delegations from 13 regions around the world will come to Oklahoma to see how we’re using creative ideas to impact our schools, workplaces and communities. These delegates will tour the state, visiting start-ups, sovereign nations and university research facilities. Their weeklong visit will culminate with the 2015 Creativity World Forum, “All Our Futures — Ideas That Matter,” on March 31 at Civic Center Music Hall.

A small idea 10 years ago, with a group of unlikely people taking a risk to share their idea and journey together to implement it — demonstrating the process of imagination becoming innovation — is why we’re becoming known around the world as the North American hub of creativity. It’s the reason our young people are increasingly deciding to stay in Oklahoma and why others are flocking here. We’re creating environments that are friendly, open to new ideas, nurturing the talents and gifts of our people, and encouraging entrepreneurial development.

Oklahoma — the State of Creativity! Help Oklahoma show off its brightest accomplishments. Join the conversation and be inspired by our people and their ideas March 31 at the Creativity World Forum.

McCalmont is president of Creative Oklahoma. For more information and to register for the Creativity World Forum 2015, go to

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