Image source: Zander Takatomo

In anyone’s life, it’s pretty cool to be able to announce Bob Dylan. That’s the experience I had last week in New York when the University of Auckland’s Creative Thinking Project held a launch at Saatchi & Saatchi in New York. I had the pleasure of announcing Mr Bob as Founding Patron of the University of Auckland’s Research Fund for Creativity and as the inaugural Creative Laureate of the University’s Creative Thinking Project.

Ever the mystery, Bob was not physically present but this did not diminish the significance of his association with this compelling Auckland project to deepen understanding of the creative process order to foster wide participation, and promote creativity as central to individual and community wellbeing and development.

Sheldon Levy, SVP of Broadcast at SaatchiNY, talks about “being in the traffic” and the event at 375 Hudson St proved just that. There was an engrossing conversation featuring NY cultural powerhouse and President Emerita of the Museum of Modern Art Agnes Gund, Google Director of Engineering Craig Nevil-Manning, renowned neuroscientist and classical scholar Nancy Andreasen and artist/photographer Clifford Ross, delicately choreographed by NYU Professor and Auckland Uni alum Peter Rajsingh. There was an artist room featuring Walters Prize winner Kate Newby and New Museum Lab fellow Carlo Van der Roer with his awesome human aura photographs.

The official announcements read like this:

Stuart McCutcheon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Auckland: “As one of the most creative voices of our time, Bob Dylan inspires the imagination. He has been a restless and challenging creative force across the world for 50 years, writing anthemic songs that span generations. He is also the first rock musician voted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. And he has been a frequent visitor to New Zealand to perform concerts since 1978.”

Peter Rajsingh, Chair of the US Friends of the University of Auckland: “Bob Dylan has been a transformative figure while remaining outside the mainstream. In this regard, he parallels the ethos of New Zealand, a country that has made significant contributions to the world by ‘leading from the edge.’”

Jenny Dixon, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Auckland: “Creative thinking drives success,” “Creativity is a proven force for cognitive development, academic achievement and social and economic innovation. Being creative strengthens neural pathways and generates lasting connections. It opens up worlds of possibility and change.”

The Research Fund for Creativity will support research in New Zealand and internationally, across all disciplines seeking to understand creativity and find creative solutions to global issues.

And Bob: For the first time, every single Bob Dylan lyric, including variations, will be published in one book. The Lyrics: Since 1962, numbering over 1,000 pages, will go on sale for $200 on Oct. 28 from publisher Simon & Schuster. Three thousand copies will be available.

The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 set for November 4 release by Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings. Meticulously restored for the first time from newly found original tape sources, six disc set is definitive chronicle of Dylan’s legendary 1967 sessions with The Band. Compiled from meticulously restored original tapes – many found only recently – this historic six-disc set is the definitive chronicle of the artist’s legendary 1967 recording sessions with members of his touring ensemble who would later achieve their own fame as The Band.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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