Creative Mornings – Tucson: Reflection

Last year, I had the opportunity to meet with Jennifer Mead, the fearless host and lead of CMT. In talking about how data fits into the creative space, we discussed upcoming themes — one of which was corruption. Quickly (and probably too forwardly), I pitched myself as the speaker for what felt like a timely but somewhat intimidating topic. Still, I knew it was important to shine a light on two things: data (1) can prop up and challenge corruption, and (2) should be engaged with creativity.

Jenn rightly encouraged me to familiarize myself with CMT. I found myself lost down a rabbit hole of past events and eventually attending my first in-person meet up in December. The topic was abundance, shared so thoughtfully by Andrea Buttrick. I was quickly reaffirmed that this was where I wanted to formalize a conversation around the harm that data has and can cause.

Fast forward to March, I came off of three months of heavy travel, solution and project launches, and the heaviest first quarter of my career — across every venture I’m part of (there are just a few). Still, I was never so invigorated or passionate about sharing what I feel is a recurrently overlooked conversation. So after months of deep thought and preparation, I brought my whole self, some slides, a couple of dad jokes, and all the energy I could muster. I welcome you to take a listen:

We often say that we’re challenging the way people do data. In many cases, this is pushing on small things — all amounting to something much bigger. At the end of a project, if we added even a little more intention, the foundation for being in a better relationship with data has been started. I’m looking forward to continuing to bring this orientation to our work — whether it’s in evaluation, strategic planning, or data capacity building. I also know the bigger conversations — the ones that challenge all of us — need to keep happening in order for us to disrupt patterns of corruption. I’m here for it, and I’d love to talk more about it with you, your organization, and your community

~ Deven

Photos by: Kathleen Dreier Photography

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