Applied Creativity Labs for Young Inventors

IVE’s Applied Creativity Labs (ACLs) are designed to give children and young people the creative behaviours and thinking skills that when applied to real world challenges help them develop innovative solutions.

‘ “What we have concluded,” wrote Land, “is that non-creative behaviour is learned.” ‘
(Source: George Land and Beth Jarman, Break-Point and Beyond: Mastering the Future TodaySan Francisco: HarperBusiness, 1993)

We believe the opposite is also true; that creative behaviour cannot only be learned but taught.



IVE’s Applied Creativity Labs (ACLs) aim to give children and young people the creative behaviours and thinking skills they need to develop innovative solutions to real world challenges.

We begin the process by presenting young people with an overview of what the ‘challenge’ is (ie. air pollution), we then deliver our bespoke creativity training and give them access to a resource-bank of ‘experts’ from industry, business and universities. Young people then explore, develop, refine and prepare to pitch their best original, applicable solutions to the challenge to a panel, dragon’s den style. The best ideas are considered for further development.


Each Applied Creativity Lab includes invaluable partnership contributions from a variety of ‘experts’.

Partners on #breatheLeeds, our first lab on air pollution, include Leeds City Council; The University of Leeds; Mott MacDonald; Magpie Creative Communication Agency; and Sustrans.

What’s involved?

Applied Creativity Labs focus on real world challenges, such as air pollution, food sustainability, single-use plastic and waste reduction. We run labs for children and young people in any setting.

IVE’s Applied Creativity Labs are built on a 20+ year history of developing young people’s creativity skills (IVE formerly known as CapeUK). Their development is timely. The Programme for International Student Assessment(PISA) tests a sample of 15-year-olds across the world every three years and plans to assess creative thinking in 2021. Creativity, originality, problem-solving, critical thinking and ideation are all future skills identified by the World Economic Forum for 2022.

A full lab includes 1 full initial day, up to 6 weekly hourly sessions and one final half day pitch event. The Labs are free to schools and youth groups as part of our charitable programme offer.



What are the impacts?

By applying creativity to real-world challenges – such as air pollution in Leeds – learning becomes ‘real’ and young people take an active part in creating their own futures. We enhance and develop the creativity of children, young people and also staff in schools (via our CPD programme ‘Developing Independent Learners’).

Applied Creativity Labs:

  • Help young people think divergently
  • Develop problem-solving skills
  • Help young people think freely and more creatively
  • Develop their resilience, confidence and independence
  • Develop their team work
  • Develop their ability to innovate
  • Develop their critical thinking skills
  • Develop their presentation skills


Get involved

Future Applied Creativity Lab themes will include: food sustainability; single-use plastic and waste reduction; flooding; knife crime; mental health and more.

If you would like us to bring an Applied Creativity Lab to your school or youth group or would like to get involved as an ‘expert’ offering your perspective on any of these problems please contact:

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