Conversation with Professor Bem Le Hunte, who designed the University of Technology Sydney Australia Creative Intelligence Degree Course
By Sharon Rundle 

The Creative Intelligence course involves unity of all disciplines, the unity of consciousness needed for radical collaboration and next level consciousness – Meta Cognition 

I have long admired Bem Le Hunte’s writing and am fascinated by her work in Creative Intelligence at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. I asked her: What does it mean? How difficult was it to persuade a university to add the Creative Intelligence course to the curriculum? How does one go about teaching Creative Intelligence? Have you had meaningful feedback? How is this course assessed? 

Bem said that she came across a global search for Course Director in Creative Intelligence. The Idea was the vision of UTS Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor of Education in 2013. They wanted a degree that met the needs for the time, for future multiple fields. Not looking at a single degree but an innovative experience around the seventeen different degrees and five different fields that a single degree cannot prepare you for. A way of looking at creativity and applying it to solve the complex challenges of our time. 

Bem wanted to be part of this new degree, a discipline that had to transcend all other disciplines. Bem was Director of Teaching and Learning from 2019, the only person employed for this for the first three years. The first time she had heard the idea of creative intelligence was a course by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi called the Science of Creative Intelligence. So, the first thing she thought was that this is a spiritual degree. The Creative Intelligence course involves unity of all disciplines, the unity of consciousness needed for radical collaboration and next level consciousness – Meta Cognition. 

“If you read the Charter for Transdisciplinarity written by Nicolescu. It charts the almost spiritual nature of 

this kind of unity, consciousness and how important it is to have that bigger consciousness tackling these challenges that cross borders. 

The Upanishads say that there are many knowledges, but only one knower. I love that idea. It really applies to the 

curriculum and how we’re trying to educate people for more than one story, more than one line, more than one perspective,” Bem said. 

Bem created a brief for the course using creative industries training, pushing boundaries and constraints. Her approach was to treat it like a company/industry rather than an academic project because an academic approach was too hard a shift of paradigm. It was warmly received by early pioneers from each academic faculty. One thing after another made it easier to run the course. For example, thousands of students applying for this course. It became a high ATAR course 

meaning very high secondary exam results to enrol. 

“This kind of education works. It expands people radically from within to make changes that need to be made and go out and do action. It has to transform people, to prepare for a world of change, to tackle some of the challenges and be more useful citizens of this world. It brings a web of ideas, a web of connections, and collective consciousness,” Bem said. 

The genius of the design is that it combines with a core degree, so students do the core degree as well as the Creative Intelligence degree course. She has a narrative approach to curriculum design. She can see it as a journey with three acts: 

Act 1 Industry Partnership 850+ Partners: The first three years students are given a Creative Brief that the staff create with the partners for the students. 

Act 2 in first half of fourth year: Students are given an Industry Partner who they work with to collaborate to create their own Brief. 

Act 3 before they leave university: Self-Initiated Project without industry partnership or brief to work out what real world challenge they need to tackle. 

Bem teaches it from a place of presence and self-awareness. What she tries to get across to students is this Metacognition of being able to take in more than the ordinary, not to just see the common, but the uncommon; not just to sense what is there, but sense what is unexpected. What is the paradigm shift? 

Bem designed a game called the Web of Ideas to create a web of ideas, connections, and collective