Ideas are Your Only Currency

Hosted by LSE LIFE and LSE Literary Festival

Alumni Theatre, New Academic Building,


Rod Judkins

Rod Judkins


Dr Neil McLean

The real currency of our time isn’t money. It’s ideas. You’re surrounded by ideas. Films, products, books, music, money, messages, services and everything in your culture began life as a vision in someone’s head. If you have ideas, you’re at the heart of things.

‘What abilities will someone need to succeed in 5, 10, or 15 years’ time?’ Rod Judkins’ answer to that question focuses on people’s ability to think conceptually. Universities used to teach students skills and then, out in the world, they applied them. But culture sped up. Soon, in the three years it took a student to reach the workplace, their skills were out of date. Now the pace of change is so fast, skills are of little use.

To be at home in the world of the future, you will need to be an adaptable, open minded, problem solver, communicator, inventor, artist and entertainer. During this talk, there will be exercises designed to encourage you to think beyond what is accepted and conventional. An Olympic athlete trains their body. A creative thinker has to exercise just as hard, but train their imagination.

Rod Judkins (@rodjudkins) is a lecturer at Central St Martin’s, one of the world’s pre-eminent art schools whose alumni – ranging from artists like Lucian Freud, Antony Gormley, through to the designers Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen – have helped shape our culture. Judkins has lectured on the subject of creativity at universities and to businesses around the world. He blogs at Psychology Today, and also acts as a consultant to numerous private companies. Trained at The Royal College of Art, he has exhibited at galleries including Tate Britain, The National Portrait Gallery and The Royal Academy.

Neil McLean is the Director of the Academic and Professional Development Division at LSE. His research interest is in how identities are negotiated though communication, with his doctoral work on the formation of teaching identifies among novice social science teachers. His interest in communication and identity relates to creativity, both in terms of how we define ourselves and how creativity could redefine what we mean by an education at the LSE.  

LSE LIFE is the School's centre for the academic, personal and professional development of its taught students. Located on the ground floor of the Library, it acts as a centralised point of contact for students looking for support, guidance, and ideas about how to succeed in their studies and extend their learning outside the classroom. LSE LIFE integrates for the first time the many development opportunities offered by different LSE departments and services and brings together a range of one to one, workshop and large group learning events. 

Suggested Twitter hashtag for this event: #LSELitFest

This event forms part of the LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2017, taking place from Monday 20 - Saturday 25 February 2017, with the theme "Revolutions".


A podcast of this event is available to download from Ideas are Your Only Currency

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This event has been certified for CPD purposes by the CPD Certification Service. Self-Assessment Record forms will be made available for delegates wishing to record further learning and knowledge enhancement for Continuing Personal and Professional Development (CPD) purposes. For delegates who wish to obtain a CPD Certificate of Attendance, it is the responsibility of delegates to register their details with a LSE steward at the end of the event and as of 1 September 2014 a certificate will be sent within 28 days of the date of the event attended by the CPD Certification Service.  If a delegate fails to register their details at the event, it will not prove possible to issue a certificate. (For queries relating to CPD Certificates of attendance after a request please phone 0208 840 4383 or email

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