Olivia Pedersen
Creative by any means necessary


Here is my exploration of places and essences to discover and learn by example creative leadership strengths.


Iceland: This weeks reflection outwards on understanding others has really perked my interest in social dynamics and how people interact with one another. This leads me to want to travel to Iceland. Why you ask? Well, because of the countries lack of resources. Everything on the "island" is imported due to harsh and hasty seasons. The climate can be cruel and unforgiving. However, the language and culture are intact because of its isolated location. I want to go an see how communities have evolved collectively. How do people there talk to each other, work with each other, and live in harmony? 



The Office: If possible, I want to avoid the typical office. By that I mean fluorescent lights beaming over me, stuffy uncirculating air, and claustrophobic (mentally and physically) environments. Feeling chained to a desk for eight hours a day is not the work style I thrive in. In addition to the physical surroundings I want to make sure I avoid the traditional office set up; lack of fluidity, formal, and conservative. I'm not looking for a lack of professionalism but a progressive space where workers feel free to collaborate and communicate freely. Even in an "open office" environment if zany creativity is not allowed to take its course the purpose of that office style is defeated. In this case, workers can feel awkward because they don't feel they can create in the grey areas. I believe where we spend a thirdof our life should be in environments that we actually enjoy being in. With all my work ventures I hope to lead teams in fun interactive ways and therefore need the area to accommodate that. Luckily for me, the typical office environment might be on its way to extinction. The evolution is stated clearly in this Forbes article, The Evolution of Work, where points of change read, "From siloed and fragmented to connected and engaged; From fear-based leadership to empowering and inspiring; From hoarded information to shared information."


The Boss: Not necessarily a place but a presence. Over the course of this semester, we have really honed in on just how much the type of leadership style you follow effects your work. If as a worker you don't feel supported or worse threatened or hostile when trying to simply shine at your job then progress will surely be stagnant. So I intend to avoid all leadership that creates negative "vibes" because they do exist and affect people. So whether it is my own leadership style that I am implementing or a leader, I am following I will aim to be surrounded by the creative leader ideals. This Forbes article calls out how leadership style is in transition: 

From fear-based leadership to empowering and inspiring: The smart leaders understand the concept of following from the front, that is, removing obstacles from the paths of employees to help them become successful.  Scaring your employees into doing what you want is a failed approach to leadership yet unfortunately this is how many of our companies were created; it’s time to evolve this way of leading.
— Jacob Morgan, Contributor



 A region heavily affected by global warming and resource depletion; damages include rising ocean levels, coral bleaching, and palm oil resource exhaustion. I would one day visit Indonesia to learn about how people have adapted to the changes surrounding their daily lifestyles. Additionally, I would like to explore the sustainable initiatives in green building and social innovation that is occurring in some regions.Additionally, I would like to explore the sustainable initiatives in resource management and social innovation that is occurring in some regions. Green School


One of the most dynamic and complex places I have ever studied, Singapore is on my list of locations to visit and learn from. It has solved complex social, cultural, and environmental obstacles over its lively life as a country. This snippet from Wikipedia further illustrate the unique presence of Singapore, "Singapore ranks 5th on the UN Human Development Index and the 3rd highest GDP per capita. It is ranked highly in education, healthcare, life expectancy, quality of life, personal safety and housing. Although income inequality is high, 90% of homes are owner-occupied. 38% of Singapore's 5.6 million residents are permanent residents and other foreign nationals. There are four official languages: English (common and first language), Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil, though almost all Singaporeans are bilingual."



Monument Valley, Navajo Nation Reservation
Towering sandstone buttes and a seemingly endless horizon make up the 360 degree landscape. Looking to be desolate, unforgiving desert land, Monument Valley is sacred to the Navajo because of the nourishment it has provided for them. To the untrained eye water, food, and medicine are nowhere to be found but if you know the land, the flora, and the fauna, you know it is a thriving ecosystem that provides many of life's necessities. Water collects in the deep sandstone pockets on top of the buttes. There is Juniper trees, yucca, Russian thistle (Tumbleweed) and Navajo Tea, etc. much of which still provides medicinal care and dye for weaving purposes today. Ecosystems such as this are inspiring to learn from to prove that the resources we are given naturally are plentiful and abundant if we take care of them and make ourselves aware of them.


The Pacific Northwest, USA
This expanse of land is so hospitable; it is a paradise of water, lush vegetation, and a leader region in sustainability. There are many sanctuaries of farmers markets, gardens, small businesses, lively community engagement, and youth development and so on, the possibilities seem endless in this environment. Exploring this area over the last five years has taught me a lot about the power of community and social impact. 


A region that has been utilized by the entire planet for centuries, Panama is a unique country that surprised me with leadership initiatives in biodiversity conservation, fair trade contracts, and cultural preservation. Especially after visiting a Cacao farm where I got a glimpse of what fair trade actually means for the farmers and how sometimes it still isn't enough.  The Biomuseo in Panama City was also a jaw-dropping mashup where design meets science. The preservation initiatives in Panama inspired me to further my education in ecotourism and sustainability.