"Can administrators afford, amid the pressing demands on their funds, to reorganize their colleges around creativity? Can they afford not to?
First, there is a growing consensus that America's economy will be increasingly based on creativity, or what the writer Daniel H. Pink calls "high touch" and "high concept" skills. Many existing high-tech and white-collar jobs—basic computer programming, accounting, database management, routine scientific work—may be exported abroad in the coming years. To stay competitive, America will need to draw on its ability to tell stories, create visually compelling messages and designs, come up with new ways to organize and synthesize information, and invent programs and businesses to solve complicated social problems or tap emerging markets. Business leaders are demanding those skills. A recent IBM poll of global CEO's ranked creativity as the most important factor for future success. And while there will always be jobs in service industries, many of the highest-paying jobs will be in the creative sector."
This reminded me of a story in the Chronicle from earlier in the year about the famous biologist E. O. Wilson, who had just written his first novel. Why did he write the novel? "He says it came to him as an insight about effective science communication that "people want a story, and you get a much larger audience when you tell a story, and the best way to tell a story is with fiction, a novel." But it was challenging for the life-long scientist to tell one." (See the May 30, 2010 issue, "For E.O. Wilson, a Lifetime of Science Feeds Into Fiction"-you probably need a subscription to read it online)
So stories help the economy and even scientists recognize that people want a story. Maybe evolution somehow shaped us that way.