CSP conference speaker calls on members to think creatively, innovate and take risks

In an inspirational start for the CSP’s annual conference in Birmingham earlier this month, Dr Emma Stokes encouraged members to develop their own ‘cabinet of curiosities’ - a place where they could go to think differently, innovate and bring about change in their profession or their individual work.

Dr Stokes trained as a physiotherapist and is associate professor at Trinity College Dublin.

Her intriguing idea was inspired by the British Museum, which she loves, and the Age of Enlightenment - when people started to look to science rather than reason for answers.

Giving yourself time and a place to think creatively - your personal  ‘cabinet’ was key to moving forward she said.

‘You need to create the space in your mind to come up with the ideas, to think about how you might do things differently,’ she said.

Giving the high-profile CSP Founders’ lecture, Dr Stokes outlined some of the inspirational physios she had met in her career - from recent graduates at her university in Dublin who had managed to gain funding for exercise apps, through to senior staff at the CSP.

Members needed to find their passion, make space for creativity, rename failure, be part of a bigger conversation and sometimes to take a chance.

Earlier Lesley Mercer, CSP director for employment relations and union services, had a similar message for how best to influence people in order to bring about the changes you wanted to see happen.

And Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, encouraged delegates that they were going to influence not public health but the public’s health. ‘And that’s a crucial apostrophe s,’ he said.

Lynn Eaton

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