Ask about Dr David Cropley
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Key Points
  • Dr David Cropley is the Professor of Engineering Innovation at the University of South Australia and recognised expert in creative problem solving and innovation.
  • Has taught a variety of courses on engineering, including digital electronics, linear electronics, systems engineering, and engineering design.
  • Teaches creativity and innovation across programs, from gifted education through to management.
  • Research interests range across creativity in education, the assessment of creativity and innovation in organisations, the role of creativity and innovation in terrorism and crime, and the nexus of creative problem-solving and engineering.
  • To date has authored / co-authored nine books.
  • Has been a scientific consultant and on-screen expert for numerous high profile TV documentaries.
Topics
  • Innovation and creativity
    Harnessing creativity, innovation and problem solving in organisations and education, as well as in the areas of technology and engineering.

    Organisations of all types, in all sectors of the economy, recognise that the ability to generate and utilise novel and effective solutions to problems is a key success factor. David helps individuals and organisations to become better, more effective problem solvers by applying key concepts from the psychology of creativity and organisational innovation. What personal factors – motivation, personality, and feelings – facilitate creativity and innovation? What are the key thinking processes involved in developing innovative solutions? What environmental and cultural factors determine the success or failure of innovation? What does a creative solution actually look like, and how do we build creativity into our products? David tackles all of these questions, explaining how change drives innovation, and how to understand, measure and control the processes of creativity, and innovative problem solving.

  • Education
    The design of curriculum and educational programs, and the role of leadership and creativity in these areas.

    Education is critical to creativity and innovation. School systems and higher education systems around the world recognise the importance of creativity and innovation as 21st century competencies, however, there is still a lot of uncertainty over what to do to develop curricula and approaches that will succeed in developing a capacity for creativity and innovation in students. Schools and universities are faced with packed curricula, and competing pressures, and where space has been made for teaching for creativity, and also teaching creatively, educators need the knowledge, tools and techniques to help them achieve positive outcomes.

    David also speaks more generally about curriculum design in Engineering, discussing some of the traditional biases that have tended to keep tertiary engineering curricula focused on outdated methods and concepts. These curricula often demonstrate why employers say they are not getting graduates sufficiently skilled in the things that matter to them – like creativity, problem solving, and critical thinking.

  • Sport and healthy lifestyles
    Finding inspiration in sport as a means of excelling across activities and disciplines, and achieving healthy work-life balance.

    David set two masters indoor-rowing world records in 2010 and 2012.  As a university lecturer, consultant, actor, author and speaker, how does David manage to fit it all in? David’s offers his personal insight into the importance of balancing work and non-work activities.  Why is non-work related activity beneficial? Learn how it's possible to find a balance that still allows you to excel at both work and recreational activities, and not drop the ball.

  • Motivation
    The role of a leader in the motivation of teams in high pressure and high performance environments, and in environments where creativity and innovation are expected to flourish. 

    Drawing on his own experiences in creativity & innovation, and his own research findings, David highlights some of the challenges that organisations face in making the best use of all their employees for improved innovation. How and why does organisational culture impact on innovation, and what practical things can leaders do to ensure that all of their employees are able to contribute to an organisation’s innovation efforts. How do gender biases affect these efforts and outcomes? David also speaks about his work in measuring organisational innovation capacity, helping leaders to understand where their organisation’s strengths and weaknesses lie, and what to do to fix these so that innovation capacity flourishes.
Testimonials

David brought great energy and professionalism to our production, and adapted well to a challenging shoot. I will definitely be recommending him for future productions and hope to work with him again.
Where U Learn

David’s innovation and problem solving presentation was insightful and spoke directly to the challenges we are currently facing in my organisation.  The paper tower exercise really brought my team together and got them thinking about alternate solutions to seemingly simple problems.  It was a very enjoyable experience and everyone learned something!

Director, Asset Strategy and Innovation
Renewal SA

We were very fortunate to be able to secure David’s time for our annual conference. The simple concept he used to help our staff generating and evaluating ideas was easy to understand and execute. The session was interactive and fun. David Cropley’s presentation style was both practical, relaxed and clear. Thank you for spending time at our conference! Having been exposed to his expertise from the engineering world was invaluable to us in the Finance industry – different but relevant.
Senior Manager, Retail Sales & Relationships
People's Choice Credit Union

Associate Professor Cropley delivered a professional and highly engaging talk at the University of South Australia’s Innovation & Collaboration Centre in May 2016.  David was tasked with presenting to a diverse mix of industry sectors representing both large and small enterprises, on the topic of innovation, and how to identify and measure it in your organisation. The feedback received from the audience reflected his ability to deliver the right balance of information which was both informative and entertaining.  David is a real pleasure to work and someone I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.
Manager, Innovation and Collaboration Centre
Business School: University of South Australia

The documentary Redesign My Brain is an award-winning program and had over 1.25 million viewers in Australia, as well as airing in the United States and UK. David played a key role in the success of the program, with his expertise on creativity and innovation.
CEO & Executive Producer
Mindful Media

Professor David Cropley was engaged by Viterra as guest speaker on Innovation in Agriculture. Having seen David present at a previous function and viewed his work on the ABC’s, Redesign my Brain I was more than comfortable to request David for this particular role. As well as undertaking his own research, David was briefed on the operations of our business and the agricultural sector more broadly using this background to create a strong connection with the attendees. Witty references to David’s time in the military and his international experiences made for interesting listening. David embraced the topic and engaged the audience with his delivery. He worked with the MC to keep the function to time and held the attention of the participants throughout. David is an engaging speaker who is prepared to work closely with the client to ensure the content is relevant. His role as an academic, coupled with his life experiences make him an engaging presenter.
Group Commercial Manager
Viterra