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The Festival of Creative Learning explores creative learning and innovation at the University of Edinburgh. It is supported by the Institute for Academic Development (IAD). The Festival has been evolving in recent months in response to covid and changes at the University and in our world. While we are not currently distributing funding for Festival events, we hope anyone interested in the Festival of Creative Learning will find useful tools and ideas on this website, including the Festival's aims and values below, and our many rich blog posts about previous Festival events. We are encouraging you to adopt a 'Festival mindset' as you design your own creative learning and teaching pathways, and always remember that you can make space for doing all that the Festival represents and has always tried to encourage, including experimentation, dreaming, play, collaboration and innovation. 


"The Festival aims to provide space for staff and students at the University of Edinburgh to play, to experiment, to innovate, to collaborate and, occasionally, to fail. A space where the emphasis is not on how many seats we fill, how many tickets we sell, how many answers we get right, but rather on truly exploring and pushing boundaries, communicating in radically new ways and leaping into the dark to find out what new ideas await us there. Our goals are to help staff and students create innovative, experimental and collaborative ways of teaching and learning in a safe space, to give people the training and support they need to design and run events, and to celebrate the work of all our event organisers and the discoveries we make together along the way. By its very nature and commitment to openness and diversity, the programme covers an enormous range of disciplines and activities. Rather than running each of the events ourselves (we have a small but efficient staff of two), we seek proposals from staff and students, distribute funding, provide a networking platform and communications umbrella for the events and aim to empower our staff and students to get the most out of what we provide. We hope that the Festival is a learning experience not just in terms of the research being conducted but also in events design and management, imparting vital skills to organisers that they can make use of in future employment, study and enterprise. We want to celebrate the idea that we learn better when we are enjoying ourselves, when we are treated with care and respect, and when we are encouraged to use our imaginations and to play."


Jennifer Williams, Festival Coordinator


Festival Case Study

Festival of Creative Learning in IAD Insights Magazine (page 12)


Festival Aims and Values

At the Festival of Creative Learning, we aim to: 

  • Recognise, celebrate and inspire creative learning at the UoE  
  • Help participants to gain new skills and broaden mindsets 
  • Support the UoE community in developing creative learning practices by providing a platform for experimentation and exploration  
  • Enhance the UoE experience in line with strategic learning and teaching priorities 
  • Develop a pipeline of innovation at UoE through encouragement, training and self-directed learning opportunities 
  • Explore the definitions of innovation and creativity and how they can be further embedded into the learning experience   
  • Cultivate the effective design and delivery of innovative and creative events  
  • Foster meaningful and interesting collaborations and learning communities  
  • Use our resources and knowledge to enhance our local and global community  

 and we value

  • Openness – nurturing an open mindset and curiosity about learning 
  • Collaboration – creating meaningful connections  
  • Creativity – taking risks and implementing original ideas 
  • Mindfulness – celebrating thoughtful and holistic ways of working 
  • Experimentation – building and prototyping ideas in a supportive environment 


The Team

Theodora Sakellaridou

Projects & Engagement Administrator
Institute for Academic Development
Creative Things I Love include community engagement, theatre, photography, yoga, visiting new places and exploring different cultures.

Jennifer Williams

Projects & Engagement Coordinator
Institute for Academic Development

Creative Things I Love include learning, poetry, yoga, being vegan and mindfulness.