Our 'learning potential' should outweigh credential-packed resumes," claims Gabrielle Santa-Donato in her recent Ed Surge article, The Exhilarating Chaos Between What We Know and What We Don't.
Her example of choice to illustrate this point is the case of Charles and Ray Eames. The story is that IBM approached Charles Eames to design the World Fair. The theme was, as customary in these events, the future, and they wanted Eames to design the fair in a way that would "make the advent of computers more accessible and less frightening." Santa-Donato tells us that Eames was perfect for the job, "not because computers, fairs, and big tech companies were in his niche, but because his potential to learn, grow, and contribute to these fields was exponential."
Talk of "design thinking" and "creative intelligence" is plagued with conceptual imprecision. And much of this comes from the fact that creative processes are, albeit often experienced as organic and holistic, constituted by distinct moments where different capacities are involved. The virtue of the idea of "learning potential" is that it identifies one central moment of creative thinking. And perhaps the author is right, perhaps learning potential is the most characteristic quality of creativity and we should get serious about finding ways to identify it, develop it, and (if possible) measure it.