CogNovo research fellow Pinar Oztop, participated at the Creative Problem Solving Institute Conference (CPSI), in University at Buffalo, New York. CPSI is an annual international conference hosted by Creative Education Foundation which was established in 1954 by the advertising specialist Alex Osborn who has been known as the inventor of brainstorming technique. CPSI is known as the oldest and longest running conference dedicated to teaching and practice of creative skills and it offers various courses about creative problem solving for educators, leaders, innovators and researchers. After completing the introductory spark session "One day jump into Creative Problem Solving (CPS)", Pinar Oztop attended the "CPS Tools and Techniques" main track for three days where she gained a clear understanding of CPS process, learned a variety of divergent and convergent tools and techniques for facilitating the individual and group problem solving and also learned how and where to apply these tools within CPS process. She learned these tools and techniques through different small and large group work exercises delivered by the facilitators Dan Bigoness, Nathan Schwagler and Katie Tagye. That course allowed her to gain a deeper understanding about CPS process as well as the chance to combine her theoretical knowledge with applied demonstrations. After the completion of main track, she attended extending sessions about creativity of children from the Education track of the program and she learned about different methods and tools to facilitate and understand creativity of children.
In her PhD project "Creativity through social interaction" Pinar Oztop investigates group creativity with a developmental perspective and she tries to understand the creative collaboration process in different age groups. She conducted experimental studies with adults, where she used her own method of collaborative story writing, and she found out that perspective taking, interpersonal closeness, flow and intrinsic motivation are important facilitators of group creativity. Currently she is conducting an experimental study about collaborative creativity with a sample of primary and secondary schools students in Devon area and she specifically focuses on the role of interpersonal skills of group members in group creativity and development of creative collaborations through different ages.