I love creating things, whether I'm developing a TED talk, hosting a conversation series for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, giving a talk about creativity, throwing a tea cup, creating a Peabody Award-winning radio show, or cooking dinner.  My first book, Spark: How Creativity Works, is published by Harper and is released as an audio book.  And please check out my podcast series, Pursuit of Spark! There you'll find conversations about creative approaches to the possibilities, challenges, and pleasures of everyday life.

Amazon  Barnes&Noble  Indiebound

 Photo by Pavlina Perry


My Spark Talks continue this season at The Met in spring 2015, with a series I'm very excited about, exploring words and images in ancient and modern art and design.  More information here.


Four lessons in Creativity at TED:

Loved leading a workshop on uncertainty and giving a keynote on creativity at Days of Communication Croatia in May.  Wonderful participants, fascinating stories, and a beautiful setting in Rovinj.  

Thrilled with the recent Spark Talk at The Met on April 30, exploring the way artists play with time, with wonderful guests -- musician Laurie Anderson; Rebecca Stead, author of When You Reach Me; astrophysicist and art historian SeungJung Kim; and Met curator Melanie Holcomb.   

It was a pleasure to give the keynote at the Clifford Symposium at Middlebury College.

Mitch Joel and I had a conversation at TED about creativity, which you can hear on Mitch's Six Pixels of Separation Podcast.

Big Think asked me to speak about creativity for three short segments.

Webcast of my talk for educators at the Smithsonian.

My thoughts about creative struggle in SGI Quarterly.


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Today's blog -- Four lessons in creativity.

I love speaking about creativity and about how to find powerful stories, and often give talks and workshops at colleges, companies, museums, and conferences.  If you are interested in having me speak to your group, please contact me at jb (at) julieburstein.com

Here is what people are saying about my talks:

"Julie presided in front of an audience of innovators (at ?WhatIf!) and told genuine, lovely stories of how creative people found their 'spark'. She held the attention of a crowd that deals with creativity and innovation on a daily basis with confidence, which was important, but also with a deep admiration for the spirit of creative souls, which ultimately captivated those who listened to her. As an observer of creative brilliance as well as a creative maven herself, Julie is the perfect speaker for anyone wanting insight into this process we call 'creativity'."
-- Rebecca Rodskog, former Director of Capability & Culture, ?WhatIf! Innovation and Founder of Rodskog Change Consulting

"If an organization is seeking a speaker on the subject of creativity, I cannot recommend Julie Burstein highly enough! Her presentation was one of the most insightful, dynamic and fun presentations I have seen. In order to demonstrate her points, she carefully wove together audio clips from great artists and authors with video, photographs, and works of art. She even customized her presentation to include works of art and artists featured in the Dallas Museum of Art's collections. Her passion, knowledge and gifts as a storyteller shine through when she is speaking."
-- Katie Hutton, Program Manager for Arts & Letters Live, Dallas Museum of Art


"Your talk was inspiring and meaningful.  It was fascinating to hear about kindling the creative process of your work and fostering the creative spirit.  You received rave reviews."

-- Diana Beebe, Executive Director, Head Mistresses Association of the East

"The qualities that make Julie Burstein a phenomenal Moderator and Interviewer are her own genuine curiosity, exceptional professionalism, and innate story-telling ability. At the American Museum of Natural History's Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, we have hired Julie numerous times to moderate panel discussions exploring diverse scientific concepts. (Our public-program audiences often include a mix of science professionals, members of the general public, and students ranging from middle-school age to doctoral candidates.) Julie's careful preparation process begins as she delves into the topic herself, working closely with the event hosts to identify important themes. Her practice of conducting pre-interviews with speakers helps each prepare and feel comfortable, and draws out fascinating details and backstories that Julie revisits during the live event. On stage, she engages both speakers and audience members, helping bridge the divide on topics and perspectives that may be new to many. Julie is a pleasure to work with, and I heartily endorse her."
-- Fiona Brady, American Museum of Natural History


Recent Talks

Here's the talk I gave at the TED2012 conference:

The audience at Middlebury College told powerful stories after my keynote for the Clifford Symposium, and it was a thrill to be followed by a wire walking performance by two alumni, Rachel and Ben Schiffer! 


PBS asked me to talk about creativity for their web series Off Book:



It was a pleasure to deliver the first keynote address for the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Clarice Smith National Teacher Institute.  The audience included English and Social Studies teachers from middle and high schools across the country, all eager to incorporate visual arts into their classes.  The wonderful Smithsonian team webcast my talk, and here it is: 

Spark Launch!

It was a thrill to have a full house at the Tribeca Barnes and Noble on 2/15, when Kurt Andersen and I launched Spark, captured by the wonderful photographer Pavlina Perry!   



Dallas Museum of Art

Arts and Letters Live

February 22, 2011 7:30 PM

There was a wonderful audience in Dallas to hear about Spark.  During the q&a, a man said "I've been listening to what you and the artists have said, and no one talks about their art, they all talk about their work.  Which has made me think about my own work -- and I'm not an artist -- and where the creativity lies in what I do.  Is that what you had hoped for?"  I was very happy to hear that -- it's exactly what I hope Spark will do!

Private talk at Google, New York, August 31, 2011

Economist Programme: Human Potential, Times Center, NYC, September 15, 2011.  Panelist with Kurt Andersen, Anne Kreamer, Rosanne Cash, and Martha Stewart.

Mid-Manhattan Library, NYC

June 30, 6:30 PM

455 Fifth Avenue between 39th and 40th

Labyrinth Books, Princeton

April 21, 2011 at 6pm

Monmouth Festival of the Arts

April 12, 2011 at 6:30 PM