Creativity in Motion

On forecasting, Jedi Master Yoda says this: “Difficult to see: always in motion is the future.”

He’s right of course. Then again, recognizing that the future is “always in motion” is already knowing something about it. If you want to make tomorrow happen today, the trick is learning how to look at things in fresh ways, how to master the creative thinking that’s at the heart of innovation in every field.

At Thomas Jefferson University, creativity is more than an elective: It’s the core of our curriculum. And innovation is more than a hobby: It’s how we’re preparing students for the professions of tomorrow. The future of work—and the work of the future—will depend as much on workers’ ability to adapt and tap into creativity as it will on field-specific training.

The professions of today seem fixed, but they’re in motion too. Teaching students how to stop, look, and reimagine—to see problems and devise solutions in completely new ways—is how we’re making sure graduates are ready to take on whatever comes next. 

When Philadelphia University and Jefferson came together four years ago, a lot of heads turned. An article about the merger in Forbes began with the statement, “This is not your typical ho-hum merger.” They understood it was about disruptive innovation.

Innovation is all about creating the future. The story about our Creativity Core Curriculum and our Hallmarks Program gives some insight into how Jefferson is preparing students not merely for the job they’ll get right out of college but for the perpetual motion of an entire career.

We like to say that Jefferson is rewriting the rules for higher education. And we are. The Class of 2021 is the first cohort of students to have the full four years of their undergraduate experience as the new Jefferson rewrite. And as I said at this year’s Commencement, this group is as talented as any in our collective institutions’ history.

If you want to see how the new rulebook is playing out, take a look at the story about our Celebration of Innovation. I’m blown away by our students and their projects—from cookbooks to vaccines, from architecture to science, from interdisciplinary collaborations to industry partnerships. There are no boundaries, no limits, and no turning away from challenges.

With all the changes brought by the pandemic, our students never missed a beat. In fact, they flourished—and had fun along the way. They have a lot to be proud of—our students are creating the history of the future!

Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA
President, Thomas Jefferson University
CEO, Jefferson Health