Articles from Cass Knowledge

Why now is the time to take the MICL – our Master's in Innovation, Creativity and Leadership

We live in uncertain and challenging times, now more so than ever, and the need for creative thinking and innovation has never been greater.

Through our Master's in Innovation, Creativity and Leadership – we call it the MICL - we have been working, with the Centre for Creativity in Professional Practice, for over a decade to support and develop future leaders, whom others will willingly follow, in times of uncertainty, to change things for the better.

According to one of our external examiners, the programme "steps outside of conventional bounds, offering intellectual adventure and personal development opportunities well beyond those of standard masters- level provision." And the range of experience we offer means that while you are with us, you can work directly on 8 of the 10 skills predicted by the World Economic Forum to be most in demand by the year 2025.

"This course prepared us for the times we are living in now"

Ines Alonso, Master’s in Innovation, Creativity and Leadership (2015)

The course is uniquely interdisciplinary – we draw on experience, materials and approaches from business and the arts, law, psychology, design and digital technology, to develop your capacity to think flexibly, respond appropriately to a wide range of challenges, and to deliver high performance in diverse and multi-functional teams, of the kinds that are needed to address today’s big challenges.

Creative problem-solving and leadership class in progress

Our approach is also active and experiential – because the skills required for leadership and creative thinking and the foundations of effective innovation, that enable us not only to respond to the changes that happen around us, but to drive the changes we want to see - not just to survive, but to thrive - cannot be learnt without seeing and doing, practice and reflection.

Intellectual adventure and personal development opportunities

Students learn through a combination of traditional lectures on underlying theories, as well as hands on workshops and projects.

This provides the opportunity to develop a multitude of skills including creative writing, facilitating creative problem solving and advising start-ups on intellectual property.

Through various exercises students learn to develop recommendations for successful organizational innovation and are encouraged to develop a reflective journal and also create an artefact for display in a final show.

Artefact created by one of this year’s students, on the theme of reflection and learning

Diversity of experience, backgrounds and future directions

Each year, we are lucky that students join us from a wide variety of backgrounds, and the current year is no exception. Students who joined the course in September 2020 were invited to take part in a virtual dérive, in which they would walk through their local neighbourhoods, finding examples of innovation, creativity and leadership, and share these with colleagues in an image or video.

Since many of our students had not yet been able to travel to the UK, we gained a wonderful insight into the diversity of environments and cultures from which students join us, as can be seen from the images collected below.

Collage of images from this year’s student dérive

The range of different student backgrounds means that students have the opportunity to learn from each other about the ways in which innovation, creativity and leadership might operate in a broad range of different contexts, and reflects some of the core course values of open-mindedness, encouraging diversity, co-operation and active involvement.

It also means that our growing community of alumni is itself wonderfully diverse, in terms of both geography and onward employment, after the course. Some students go back to the companies they joined us from, perhaps to take on more senior leadership positions, and others look to change directions. Some pursue a career in innovation, either within an organisation, or a specialised innovation consultancy, or as a freelancer working in an industry they are already familiar with. Some go on to develop or found their own businesses. The possibilities are endless, and the choice is yours.

If you’d like to find out more about our Master’s in Innovation, Creativity and Leadership you can visit the course page for further information.