State of Creativity Forum features OC student, trustee, grads

Oklahoma Christian University will have a strong presence at the State of Creativity Forum next Tuesday at Oklahoma City’s Cox Convention Center.

The forum, in its third year, will attract approximately 1,500 educators, students, business and community leaders, technology experts, entrepreneurs and innovators.

Keynote speakers include Sir Ken Robinson, internationally-recognized creativity and education leader and author; Peter Diamandis, chairman and chief executive office of the XPRIZE Foundation; Gregg Fraley, a leading author, speaker and consultant; and David Green, Mart Green and Brent Ryan Green of Hobby Lobby.

Ken ParkerKen Parker, a 1983 OC graduate and member of the OC Board of Trustees, will lead the Education Breakout Session at the State of Creativity Forum. Parker has 28 years of experience in aerospace and Wall Street technology. In 2011, he founded NextThought, an innovative start-up focused on improving the quality and accessibility of online education.

“It is exciting to see Oklahoma becoming a global leader in encouraging and developing creativity,” Parker said. “Creativity is required if we hope to solve today’s most challenging problems, such as poverty, energy and environmental issues.”

David Bowden (photo from stateofcreativity.com)David Bowden, who graduated from Oklahoma Christian in 2010, will be part of the closing session prior to the Greens’ keynote. Bowden, who serves as executive director of the non-profit Give-a-Goat, uses challenging and inspirational poetry to promote social justice and care for the needy throughout the world.

OC alumnus Ryan Groves and OC senior Yves Iradukunda will deliver “Creativity Slams” during the closing session. These short vignettes will feature inspiring stories about creativity and innovation in Oklahoma.

Ryan Groves (photo from stateofcreativity.com)Groves, a 2011 grad, is chief executive officer of Wishing Well, a student movement he started at Oklahoma Christian aimed at ending the world’s water crisis. He also is the co-founder and co-owner of TheArtistbible.tv, a new platform designed to connect artists around the world with scripture.

Yves Iradukunda (photo from stateofcreativity.com)Iradukunda is pursuing a mathematics and computer science degree at Oklahoma Christian. He is president of OC’s chapter of Rwandans4Water and serves as executive officer of ELE Rwanda - Rwandan Emerging Leaders and Entrepreneurs. ELE Rwanda seeks to inspire youth-led innovation and entrepreneurship to grow Rwanda’s economy.

“I am honored to be involved in the State of Creativity Forum,” Iradukunda said. “Since creativity and innovation drive the world’s economy, this forum is a great encouragement to us youth and a reminder of our role in the development of our communities.”

Oklahoma Christian has a strong relationship with the Republic of Rwanda. In 2006, OC established its Presidential Scholars Program, which brings 10 to 20 of the brightest students from Rwanda to OC each year to study in important fields such as engineering and business.

Oklahoma Christian, recognized as one of the best universities in the western United States by U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review, offers undergraduate programs in more than 60 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program, and graduate programs in business administration, engineering, ministry and divinity. 

In addition to its Oklahoma City campus, OC has study abroad opportunities in Europe, Honduras and the Pacific Rim. 

For more information about the State of Creativity Forum, go to www.stateofcreativity.com.

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