Batkid: A Lesson in Collaboration and Creativity

I woke this morning to an explosion on my social media channels, all referring to a little man known as Batkid. If you haven’t read about this story, the Make A Wish Foundation in San Francisco organised for a large-scale ‘wish’ to be brought to life for five year old Miles, who has suffered with serious illness for most of his life.

His wish was to be Batman.

Over 13,000 volunteers turned up on the day to convert San Francisco into Gotham City, staging villainous heists and dramatic kidnappings across the city from characters such as The Riddler and The Penguin. Batkid, assisted by a ‘fully-grown’ Batman, flew through the streets in a Batmobile and saved the day. Later, he was awarded the key to the city by the San Francisco mayor.

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Image: Mashable.com (click through for the whole gallery)

Watching footage from the day, it is hard not to smile as you watch the sheer silliness of the concept and excitement that it brings take over the little boy and the whole town.

Such is the power of a good idea: sometimes it doesn’t have to be complicated or visionary. Sometimes, a single spark of inspiration can catch on and when enough people believe in your cause and are captivated by your idea, it can grow into something incredible. And a glorified game of dress-ups suddenly takes over a whole city. The power of the collective group turned what was already a special experience into something that Miles – and San Francisco – will not forget for a very long time.

Often when I am called on for ideas or creativity, I find myself stumped. I try to think of the most innovative and unusual concepts I can and get caught dismissing ideas that I don’t think are imaginative enough. But sometimes you don’t have to have the whole picture. All a great creative concept needs is a starting point: a spark of inspiration to start generating more ideas, to which others can add and bring their own experience. People reassure you that the idea can work and help to develop it. Some agree to help. Others contribute the resources at their disposal. Even more see it happening, share the idea and praise it. And suddenly, ‘Let’s turn this kid into Batman’ doesn’t sound so crazy.

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