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In Nov. 2021 after ten years of our evolving mission and impact, we changed our name to Gathering Ground. You may still find reference to our old name Creative New Jersey in posts created prior to Nov. 2021.

Building a Movement for a Creative New Jersey

Originally posted on the Geraldine R. Dodge Blog.

Creativity.  Innovation.  Sustainability.   For many of us, these words conjure a variety of meanings, but one common denominator underlying these definitions for me is the notion of progress.  The past several decades have encouraged and defined progress as “more,” “bigger,” and “faster.” Even with the advent of the world’s financial crisis, we, as a society, have yet to redefine what successful progress looks like. Yes, individuals and organizations alike have had to respond to our austere economic realities, but we are bombarded with messages that these cut-backs are temporary, and that one day we will return to our former glory.  We hear “the financial market will re-bound” and “the housing market will strengthen” and so on. Yet, I think we can all agree that there’s no going back, and there have been countless articles written on the need to develop new business models.

Albert Einstein (a remarkable New Jerseyan!) once said, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved with the same level of thinking we used to create them.” Collectively, we can embrace creativity, innovation and sustainability, and in the process re-define success so that is it authentic to who and what we are.

Creative New Jersey is championing a new model for New Jersey in order to ensure dynamic communities and a thriving economy. Creative New Jersey is empowering cross-sector partnerships in order to spark a movement dedicated to fostering creativity, innovation, and sustainability in commerce, education, philanthropy, government, and culture.


We Believe:

  • Imagination is the foundation of human creativity;
  • Creativity is innate in every human being and can be nurtured and developed;
  • Innovation brings about transformation and a shift in the worldview towards sustainability.

Could all of us, as proud New Jerseyans, agree to embark upon setting a new path for success?  Can we agree that our systems have failed us but that we have the power to make lasting positive change?  Can we embrace calculated risk-taking as an important factor in re-envisioning ourselves, our organizations, our communities and our state?  If your answer is yes, we at Creative New Jersey would like to hear from you!

Perhaps you are thinking about:

  • What creativity means for you and your community?
  • What it means to transcend traditional ideas, rules and patterns?
  • What it might look like to foster new allegiances or mergers?

If you’re thorough in defining creativity, your own original, innovative ideas will be illuminated. What are they? How does this feel to you? Who and what do you need to launch your new ideas? What cross-sector partnerships might help you to achieve this? What is your BHAG (your Big Hairy Audacious Goal!)?

The power of our progress is tantamount to the quality of our ideas. At Creative New Jersey, we want to help propel your progress by linking you with individuals and organizations that you might not traditionally think of partnering with.  We want to fuel the conversation of how New Jersey can use creativity and innovation to revitalize our state.

Creative New Jersey began this conversation last June when 150 leaders from across the state gathered for a Call to Collaboration.  More than 55 discussions took place on how Creativity and Innovation could revitalize New Jersey, and dozens of cross-sector introductions were born.  Participants accepted a 3-to-3-to-3 challenge to reach out to 3 people they met during the Call to Collaboration; 3 people they would have liked to have meet and 3 people who weren’t at the event but should know about our Creative New Jersey movement. We are continuing to expand the circle and we invite all of you to join us as we build momentum.

  1. Go to and create an account so you can post information and receive updates on activities and events.  You can also download the Call to Collaboration Book of Proceedings by clicking on the blog tab.
  2. Post your ideas about creativity, innovation and sustainability on our website by clicking Words to Action, and read what your colleagues are saying.
  3. Join the discussion on our Facebook page and on Twitter.

While our state is faced with a myriad of challenges, we know that there are countless New Jerseyans who are implementing creative, innovative and sustainable changes every day.  Tell us what you are doing.  Tell us how we can help.  Be a part of the conversation!  Join us in replacing “more, bigger, faster” with “creativity, innovation, and sustainability.”


“Thank you for hosting Communities in Conversation. Having the opportunity to build new partnerships, share resources and problem solve with such a wide variety of community stakeholders was remarkable! The framework and format used created a truly valuable experience for everyone. I look forward to participating in future events like this.”

– Jaime L. Angelini, MA, DRCC, AMTP, Statewide Director of Disaster Services and Special Projects at the Mental Health Association