Page 16 - Packaging News Magazine May-June 2019
P. 16

Creativity and critical thinking
May-June 2019
The ability to attract bright young people to a career in packaging and develop their critical thinking emerged as the key themes at the PKN + Food & Drink Business Women in Packaging breakfast, which kicked off the AIP Technical Forum in Sydney last month. Doris Prodanovic and
CWayne Robinson report.
REATIVITY, critical thinking and collaboration and a rapidly changing workplace were some of the key points ad- dressed by BrandOpus Austra- lia managing director Nikki Moeschinger, the keynote
speaker at the 2019 Women in Pack- aging Breakfast Forum.
Moeschinger led her presentation – Creativity, Spirituality and Human Purpose at the Dawn of AI – by point- ing to the need for creativity in today’s fast-paced and instantaneous workplace culture, and asking what can be done to develop the workplaces of tomorrow.
“New entrants to today’s job market have grown up in an environment where the speed, scope and intensity of reaction – afforded by social media – further discourages risk- taking,” she said.
“Jobs provide us with both material comfort and psychological gratifica- tion. We need to work to feel engaged, to contribute.”
“Whatever your definition of creativity may be, if it is what we’re going to need of the workplaces of tomorrow, it is what we need in the workplaces of today.”
LEFT: Panel of leaders (from left): Dr Rym Kachouri, APPMA and Foodmach; Nerida Kelton, AIP; and Liza Vernalls, Campbell Arnott’s with panel moderator, Lindy Hughson.
BELOW: Women in Packaging supporters: Nina Leatherday, Woolworths; Conny Morgan, Campbell Arnott’s; Cathrin Samad, Kellogg’s; Craig Wellman, Wellman Packaging; George Ganzenmuller, Orora Fibre Packaging.
Moeschinger’s talk was followed by a panel discussion on education and training for the future workplace.
Hosted by PKN and Food & Drink Business publisher Lindy Hughson, the panel comprised three leading lights in the packaging world, all committed to the development of the industry: Liza Vernalls, director of packaging at Campbell Arnott’s; Nerida Kelton, executive director of the AIP; and Dr Rym Kachouri, APPMA board and GM for Service and Agency Products, Foodmach.
Engaging with young people and providing appealing pathways to their entry is central to the growth strategy of every industry, and pack- aging is no exception. However, with so much competition for bright young minds the questions posed by Hughson were how should packag- ing go about presenting itself as a positive and fulfilling career choice? And what kind of people should it be attracting? What kind of training should it be providing?
Dr Kachouri said that automation would increasingly lead to an up- skilled workforce as machines took an increasing share of the more repet- itive jobs. She said, “Skilled engi- neers will be highly sought after, and our biggest challenge is to find them.”
Hughson raised the issue of resources for training, and asked
Moeschinger highlighted that the presence of measurability and big data have impacted on the psyche of an entire generation’s way of working, putting pressure on everyone to make the ‘right decision’ and back- ing it with data.
“We’re obsessed with big data and we value efficiencies over effective- ness,” she said.
“This has further compounded the loss of our creative skills... we’re becoming smaller, less bold, less childlike in our curiosity, and we’re increasingly hesitant to have a go.”
Further describing creativity as an innate, human skill, Moeschinger said this is lost along the way as we progress from school to university and then into the workplace, sug- gesting logic and rationality become learned, encouraged and practised, subsequently stifling creativity.
“Being rational is the opposite of being imaginative... why are we teaching knowledge when we should be teaching thinking?” she asked.
“We need to teach our children to think creatively, to reimagine and to challenge. Only this will help to develop skills they require in the future.”

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