Robert Kelly
  • upcoming events:

    New Book Release - Creative Development: Transforming Education through Design Thinking, Innovation and Invention available in paperback and ebook through Amazon and Chapters-Indigo. ISBN 978-1-55059-668-7

    October 2016 - Tempo: The Manitoba Music Conference - Presentation - Creative Development. Winnipeg, Manitoba (October 21, 2016)

    October 2016 - AMAM (Association of Music Administrators of Manitoba) Annual Conference - Keynote Presentation - Creative Development through Design Thinking and Innovation, Winnipeg, Manitoba (October 20, 2016)

    July 2016 - Inaugural Creative World, Washington, D.C. - July 16th to 30th, 2016. Co-chair of National Creativity Network's Education Re-Invention Design Challenge at Busboys and Poets July 26th and 27th, 2016

    July 2016 - Visiting Scholar - Summer Institute of Creativity in Educational Practice, University of Manitoba, Faculty of Education. July 4th to 8th - EDUB 5220 T02 – CRN: 31697 and EDUB 7340 T04 – CRN: 31698. Winnipeg, Manitoba.

    July, 2016 - Design Thinking for Innovation graduate  program - Beginning of a new cohort in the Interdisciplinary MEd program at the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. - July 11 to 14, 2016 EDER 679.44 - Creative Design Practice: An Introduction

    June 17th, 2106 - Alberta Chemistry Educators Association - Keynote presentation - Transforming Education through Design Thinking. University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta.

    May 10, 2016 - Teaching and Learning Conference, University of Calgary. Opening Keynote presentation: Creative Development: Transforming Education through Design Thinking, Innovation and Invention. Calgary, Alberta.

    May 7, 2016 - University of New Brunswick Early Childhood Conference, Keynote Presentation - Creative Development. Moncton, New Brunswick.

    November 6, 2015 - Early Childhood Education Association of the Alberta Teachers Association Annual Conference - Keynote Presentation - Developing Creativity: Engagement and Motivation through Design Thinking and Innovation. Kananaskis, Alberta

    October 5 to 8, 2015 - University of New Brunswick Faculty of Education Colloquium Speaker Series - Creative Development: Transforming Education through Design Thinking, Innovation and Invention, October 6th, 7:00 p.m. Fredericton, New Brunswick.

    September 2015 - LungA School Research Visitation - Seydisfjordur, Iceland

    July 13, 2015 - Design Thinking for Innovation graduate certificate program - Beginning of a new cohort in the Interdisciplinary MEd program at the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary.

    July 6, 2015 - Creative Development in Educational Practice graduate certificate program -   Beginning of a new cohort in the Interdisciplinary MEd program at the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary.

    June 17th, 2015 - Big Plans for Little Kids (Early Intervention Agency) - presentation: Inspiring Creativity in Early Intervention. Calgary, Alberta.

    May 23rd, 2015 - Elite Calgary (Conference for Youth Empowerment), University of Calgary - Keynote Presentation -Every Dream I Have Ever Had Has Come True: Empowerment Through Creativity

    March 16, 2015 - Sun West School Division,  Keynote presentation. Developing Creativity , Rosetown, Saskatchewan

    March 11, 2015 - Chipperfield Parent Speaker Series - Developing Creativity: Growing Engagement, Motivation and Achievement through Design Thinking and Innovation. 7:00 p.m. Calgary Academy, Calgary, AB.

    October 24, 2014 - Association of Art Educators Manitoba, SAGE Conference - Keynote Presentation - Developing Creativity: When You Are All Dressed Up You Need a Place To Go. Breakout session: Educating for Creativity. Winnipeg, Manitoba.

    September 10 to 17, 2014 - Research Visitation and Collaboration - LungA School, Seydisfjordur, Iceland

    July 7 to 11, 2014 - Creativity in Educational Practice Graduate Certificate Program - Course #1 - Creative Practice: An Introduction

    January 23, 2014 - Teaching and Learning University of Calgary - Lecture/ Workshop - Creativity in Educational Practice Across the Disciplines

    January 18, 2014 - Keynote - Educating for Creativity: A Global Conversation. Education Student Association Conference - Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary.


    October 17 - 19th, 2013 - Keynote - Educating for Creativity - "Celebrating the Challenges"

    Special Education Conference, Kananaskis, Alberta


    July 2 to 8, 2013 - Creativity in Educational Practice Graduate Program at the University of Calgary.

    Creative Practice: An Introduction. Calgary Alberta


    May 29th, 2013 - Keynote - From Design Thinking to Creative Practice - Orchestras Canada - Toronto, Ontario


    May 15th, 2013 - The Banff Centre - Educating for Creativity: A Creative Education Conversation - Banff, Alberta


    March 2013 - Webinar - Educating for Creativity: Understanding Creative Dvelopment - National Creativity Network, USA



    February 28th, March 1st, 2013 - Keynote - Design Thinking as the Accessible Lens for Creativity - ArtStarts - Vancouver, British Columbia



    December 12st, 2012 - NEW BOOK - "Educating for Creativity, A Global Conversation" - Robert Kelly, Available in hard copy and ebook through,, Chapters/Indigo, Kindle and Kobo.


    November 16th, 2012 - ArtSmarts Knowledge Exchange - Keynote - Educating for Creativity, A Global Conversation, Downtown Campus, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB


    August 22nd, 2012, NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) - Keynote Address - Balancing Creativity and Achievement at inaugural Celebrating Teaching event.


    July 2012 - Summer Institutes of Creativity in Educational Practice

    - July 4th to 17th - University of Calgary. Calgary, Alberta, Canada

    - July 11th to 13th - University of British Columbia Okanagan. Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

    - July 23rd to August 4th - University of Manitoba. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada





Robert Kelly



Educator, Author, Keynote Speaker

Creative Development and Design Thinking Consulting for Entrepreneurship and Education

Robert Kelly Headshot
Robert Kelly

Educator, author and keynote speaker Robert Kelly is Academic Coordinator of the Creative Development in Educational Practice and Design Thinking for Innovation Graduate Programs in the Werklund School of Education and an associate professor at the University of Calgary where he teaches creativity theory and practice, creative development, design thinking, social innovation, and curriculum theory and design.

Robert is also Director of the Alberta Creativity Network where he works to create opportunities for creative growth and development and innovation across the education, health care, arts and commerce sectors. He is currently on the planning committee  and co-chair of the National Creativity Network's Education Re-Invention Design Challenge as part of the inaugural Creative World event  in Washington, D.C in July 2016. 

His new book release Creative Development: Transforming Education through Design Thinking, Innovation and Invention (2016) makes the argument for systematic creative development being as important as literacy and numeracy development in 21st century educational practice. This volume is based on Robert’s applied research focused on the concept of creativity and its applications for educational practice through the prototyping, growth and development of his transformative Creative Development in Educational Practice and Design Thinking for Innovation graduate programs in teacher education.

His previoud book Educating for Creativity: A Global Conversation (2012) explores how an educational culture of creativity can be implemented across the educational spectrum.  The author’s new research in this field is accompanied by numerous profiles of schools from around the world from pre-school to post-secondary where creativity is a primary rationale for education. This book is designed to be an accessible resource for educators, administrators and parents who seek to transform educational environments by enabling students and educators to learn creatively and more importantly to learn to create. This volume was the second of three funded by conditional grants from Alberta Education and follows volume 1, Creative Expression, Creative Education. They collectively focus on creativity as a primary rationale for education driven by his personal belief that all students and all educators should be creating original work in all disciplines at all levels of education.

Robert has received numerous awards for teaching excellence while teaching at the junior high and secondary levels in public education and also at the post secondary level. He is currently featured on the University of Calgary’s Great Teachers website.

The following are published anecdotes that have accompanied awards and course and presentation evaluations.

“This professor is passionate about education and creativity and it shows in his teaching style. He is articulate and knowledgeable about that which he teaches. He does not ‘stand and deliver’ but rather allows us to form our own opinion and evolve in our understanding.”

“Robert facilitated the class in a way that the entire content and purpose of the course was to experience the process of creativity. He helped us understand the concepts of invention and creativity through collaborative “fuelling of ideas” activities that gave a greater understanding of inquiry learning. He challenged us to constantly adopt an inventive mindset.”

As artist, Robert’s previous work includes his conceptual Minutia installation which consists of eleven books of concrete poetry on lecterns, based on the eleven words from the sentence fragment “the first time I heard the sound of a page turning.” The essence of this work is that awareness of minutiae is fundamental to meaningfulness. This installation takes components from our language and recontextualizes them to create an arena to explore meaning.

Robert Kelly has been a featured keynote speaker at lectures and workshops internationally speaking on the concept of creativity and creative development where he is known for sharing his numerous insightful and humorous anecdotes from his diverse personal journey. He also does extensive consulting on creative development with diverse organizations to foster innovation within organizations. This includes extensive work as educational architect for school and educational design for creative practice. He currently lives in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains in the Alberta town of Cochrane where he can be often seen engaging in some of his favourite activities running, kayaking, cycling, skiing and hiking.


Contact Robert Kelly
Phone: 403.220.4381 or E-mail: