Sir Ken is renowned globally for advancing creativity, innovation and human resources in both education and business.
As Professor Emeritus, he served at the University of Warwick and has received honorary degrees from multiple institutions, including Rhode Island School of Design and Oklahoma State University.
He’s been honored with several awards like the Athena Award, Peabody Medal and the Benjamin Franklin Medal from the Royal Society of Arts.
Recognized as one of the top creative minds globally, he’s also ranked in the Thinkers50 list for business thought leaders.
Sir Ken collaborates with governments and educational systems in Europe, Asia and the USA. Notably, he played a pivotal role in shaping a strategy for creativity and economic growth during Northern Ireland’s Peace Process.
I have listed below the best quotes by Ken Robinson.
Best Ken Robinson Quotes
Creativity is as important as literacy. ~ Ken Robinson.
Most great learning happens in groups. Collaboration is the stuff of growth. ~ Ken Robinson.
If you can light the spark of curiosity in a child, they will learn without any further assistance. ~ Ken Robinson.
If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original. ~ Ken Robinson.
It’s education that’s meant to take us into this future that we can’t grasp. ~ Ken Robinson.
Education doesn’t need to be reformed- it needs to be transformed. ~ Ken Robinson.
What you do for yourself dies with you when you leave this world, what you do for others lives on forever. ~ Ken Robinson.
If a man speaks his mind in a forest, and no woman hears him, is he still wrong? ~ Ken Robinson.
The role of a creative leader is not to have all the ideas; it’s to create a culture where everyone can have ideas and feel that they’re valued. ~ Ken Robinson.
Make the most of whatever it is that floats your boat… ~ Ken Robinson.
Creativity is the greatest gift of human intelligence. ~ Ken Robinson.
Human resources are like natural resources; they’re often buried deep. You have to go looking for them, they’re not just lying around on the surface. You have to create the circumstances where they show themselves. ~ Ken Robinson.
The gardener does not make a plant grow. The job of a gardener is to create optimal conditions for growth. ~ Ken Robinson.
Life is not linear, it is organic. We create our lives symbiotically as we explore our talents in relation to the circumstances they help create for us. ~ Ken Robinson.
Everyday, everywhere our children spread their dreams beneath our feet and we should tread softly. ~ Ken Robinson.
Inspiring Ken Robinson Quotes
Teaching for creativity aims to encourage self-confidence, independence of mind, and the capacity to think for oneself. ~ Ken Robinson.
There is no system in the world or any school in the country that is better than its teachers. Teachers are the lifeblood of the success of schools. ~ Ken Robinson.
The arts, sciences, humanities, physical education, languages and maths all have equal and central contributions to make to a student’s education. ~ Ken Robinson.
Imagination is the source of all human achievement. ~ Ken Robinson.
There isn’t an education system on the planet that teaches dance everyday to children the way we teach them mathematics. Why? ~ Ken Robinson.
Everyone has huge creative capacities. The challenge is to develop them. A culture of creativity has to involve everybody, not just a select few. ~ Ken Robinson.
Innovation is applied creativity. By definition, innovation is always about introducing something new, or improved, or both and it is usually assumed to be a positive thing. ~ Ken Robinson.
Learning happens in the minds and souls, not in the databases of multiple-choice tests. ~ Ken Robinson.
The first task in teaching for creativity in any field is to encourage people to believe in their creative potential and to nurture the confidence to try. ~ Ken Robinson.
Famous Ken Robinson Quotes
Sometimes getting away from school is the best thing that can happen to a great mind. ~ Ken Robinson.
You cannot predict the outcome of human development. All you can do is like a farmer create the conditions under which it will begin to flourish. ~ Ken Robinson.
All kids have tremendous talents – and we squander them pretty ruthlessly. ~ Ken Robinson.
Our task is to educate our children’s whole being so they can face the future and make something of it. To achieve this we need to balance education for careers with education for twenty-first century life. ~ Ken Robinson.
Human communities depend upon a diversity of talent not a singular conception of ability. and at the heart of the challenge is to reconstitute our sense of ability and intelligence. ~ Ken Robinson.
The Element is about discovering yourself, and you can’t do this if you’re trapped in a compulsion to conform. You can’t be yourself in a swarm. ~ Ken Robinson.
I believe this passionately: that we don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out of it. ~ Ken Robinson.
Humans are born curious, creative, and intuitive. ~ Ken Robinson.
You can’t just give someone a creativity injection. You have to create an environment for curiosity and a way to encourage people and get the best out of them. ~ Ken Robinson.
To be creative you actually have to do something. ~ Ken Robinson.
We have sold ourselves into a fast food model of education, and it’s impoverishing our spirit and our energies as much as fast food is depleting our physical bodies. ~ Ken Robinson.
Every education system on Earth has the same hierarchy of subjects: at the top are mathematics and languages, then the humanities, and the bottom are the arts. ~ Ken Robinson.
Creativity is as important as literacy and numeracy, and I actually think people understand that creativity is important – they just don’t understand what it is. ~ Ken Robinson.
Top Ken Robinson Quotes
Creativity involves putting your imagination to work. In a sense, creativity is applied imagination. ~ Ken Robinson.
You don’t think of Shakespeare being a child, do you? Shakespeare being seven? He was seven at some point. He was in somebody’s English class, wasn’t he? How annoying would that be? ~ Ken Robinson.
Finding your element is essential to your wellbeing and ultimate success and, by implication to the health of our organizations and the effectiveness of our educational systems. ~ Ken Robinson.
Teaching for creativity involves teaching creatively. There are three related tasks in teaching for creativity: encouraging, identifying and fostering. ~ Ken Robinson.
Creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value. ~ Ken Robinson.
You can’t be a creative thinker if you’re not stimulating your mind, just as you can’t be an Olympic athlete if you don’t train regularly. ~ Ken Robinson.
Creativity is putting your imagination to work, and it’s produced the most extraordinary results in human culture. ~ Ken Robinson.
Transforming education is not easy but the price of failure is more than we can afford, while the benefits of success are more than we can imagine. ~ Ken Robinson.
Great Ken Robinson Quotes
If you are considering earning your living from your Element, it’s important to bear in mind that you not only have to love what you do; you should also enjoy the culture and the tribes that go with it. ~ Ken Robinson.
Human intelligence is richer and more dynamic than we have been led to believe by formal academic education. ~ Ken Robinson.
The dropout crisis is just the tip of an iceberg. What it doesn’t count are all the kids who are in school but being disengaged from it, who don’t enjoy it, who don’t get any real benefit from it. ~ Ken Robinson.
Passion is the driver of achievement in all fields. Some people love doing things they don’t feel they’re good at. That may be because they underestimate their talents or haven’t yet put the work in to develop them. ~ Ken Robinson.
In a world where lifelong employment in the same job is a thing of the past, creativity is not a luxury. It is essential for personal security and fulfillment. ~ Ken Robinson.
The quest for your Element is really a two-way journey. It is an inward journey to explore what lies within you; it is an outward journey to explore opportunities in the world around you. ~ Ken Robinson.
Very many people go through their whole lives having no real sense of what their talents may be, or if they have any to speak of. ~ Ken Robinson.
You can think of creativity as applied imagination. ~ Ken Robinson.
When children aren’t given the space to struggle through things on their own, they don’t learn to problem-solve very well. They don’t learn to be confident in their own abilities, and it can affect their self-esteem. ~ Ken Robinson.
One way of opening ourselves up to new opportunities is to make conscious efforts to look differently at our ordinary situations. Doing so allows a person to see the world as one rife with possibility and to take advantage of some of those possibilities if they seem worth pursuing. ~ Ken Robinson.
If you’re running an engineering or finance company, all companies depend on ideas and ingenuity. I think the principles of creative leadership apply everywhere, whether it’s an advertising company or whether you’re running a hospital. ~ Ken Robinson.
These powers of imagination and creativity are among the few things that set us apart from the rest of life on Earth. But they make all the difference. ~ Ken Robinson.
Popular Ken Robinson Quotes
Creativity, as I see it, is the process of putting your imagination to work. It’s been defined rather simply as applied imagination. That’s not a bad way to think about it. ~ Ken Robinson.
Research indicates that, as long as we keep using our brains in an active way, we continue to build neural pathways as we get older. This gives us not only the ongoing potential for creative thought, but also an additional incentive for continuing to stretch ourselves. ~ Ken Robinson.
Far more than any other power, imagination is what sets human beings apart from every other species on earth. ~ Ken Robinson.
When you’re in your Element, your sense of time changes. If you’re doing something that you love, an hour can feel like five minutes; if you are doing something that you do not, five minutes can feel like an hour. ~ Ken Robinson.
Creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status. ~ Ken Robinson.
One of the enemies of creativity and innovation, especially in relation to our own development, is common sense. ~ Ken Robinson.
You can be creative in anything – in math, science, engineering, philosophy – as much as you can in music or in painting or in dance. ~ Ken Robinson.
Many highly talented, brilliant, creative people think they’re not – because the thing they were good at at school wasn’t valued, or was actually stigmatized. ~ Ken Robinson.
Being wrong doesn’t mean being creative – but if you aren’t afraid of being wrong, you can’t be creative. ~ Ken Robinson.
It is difficult to feel accomplished when you’re not accomplishing something that matters to you. Doing something ‘for your own good’ is rarely for your own good if it causes you to be less than who you really are. ~ Ken Robinson.
The task of education is not to teach subjects: it is to teach students. ~ Ken Robinson.
The word amateur derives from the Latin word amator, which means lover, devoted friend, or someone who is in avid pursuit of an objective. In the original sense, an amateur is someone who does something for the love of it. ~ Ken Robinson.
What you’re doing now, or have done in the past, need not determine what you can do next and in the future. ~ Ken Robinson.
I believe our only hope for the future is to adopt a new conception of human ecology, one in which we start to reconstitute our concept of the richness in human capacity. ~ Ken Robinson.
The most powerful method of improving education is to invest in the improvement of teaching and the status of great teachers. ~ Ken Robinson.
Creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value – more often than not, comes about through the interaction of different disciplinary ways of seeing things. ~ Ken Robinson.
Wise Ken Robinson Quotes
The Element is the meeting point between natural aptitude and personal passion. ~ Ken Robinson.
Too many people never connect with their true talents and therefore don’t know what they are capable of achieving. ~ Ken Robinson.
Never underestimate the vital importance of finding early in life the work that for you is play. ~ Ken Robinson.
Every single one of the 100 billion lives who have walked the face of this earth is unique and unrepeatable. To be born at all is a miracle, so what are you going to do with your life ~ Ken Robinson.
We stigmatize mistakes. And we’re now running national educational systems where mistakes are the worst thing you can make – and the result is that we are educating people out of their creative capacities. ~ Ken Robinson.
There’s a wealth of talent that lies in all of us. All of us, including those who work in schools, must nurture creativity systematically and not kill it unwittingly. ~ Ken Robinson.
Some of the most brilliant, creative people I know did not do well at school. Many of them didn’t really discover what they could do – and who they really were – until they’d left school and recovered from their education. ~ Ken Robinson.
Education and training are the keys to the future. A key can be turned in two directions. Turn it one way and you lock resources away; turn it other way and you realize resources and give people back to themselves. ~ Ken Robinson.
Curiosity is the engine of achievement. ~ Ken Robinson.
A three-year-old is not half a six-year-old. ~ Ken Robinson.
School system should base their curriculum not on the idea of separate subjects, but on the much more fertile idea of disciplines…which makes possible a fluid and dynamic curriculum that is interdisciplinary. ~ Ken Robinson.
All children start their school careers with sparkling imaginations, fertile minds, and a willingness to take risks with what they think. ~ Ken Robinson.
You create your life, and you can recreate it, too. In times of economic downturn and uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to look deep inside yourself to fathom the sort of life you really want to lead and the talents and passions that can make that possible. ~ Ken Robinson.
So these were the 92 top Ken Robinson quotes on creativity, learning, children and education.