Alan Bio & Vitae (detailed)

Robert Alan Black, Ph.D., CSP, AC-Gold

International Creative Workplace Consultant

The following provides a large amount of information about my 57+ years of working at 8 professions since 1960 until the present.

“Alan is a migrant worker who picks brains,

  not fruits and vegetables.”

Merry Black, Ph.D. – late wife, 1949-1998 licensed psychologist


“I see Alan as the ‘Johnny Appleseed’ of the Global Creativity Movement. He continually wanders with the mission to S.P.R.E.A.D. creative thinking around the globe.” (paraphrased)

Jonathan Vehar – NEW&IMPROVED, 1999 Winterfest-San Diego.

I serve my clients, whether: companies, corporations, associations or government agencies through:

creating keynote presentations,
breakout/concurrent sessions,
workshops or training programs
for them.

or teaching managers how to make top notch PRESENTATIONS.


I specialize in the on-going development of creative thinking skills in ALL the people throughout entire workplaces and in producing creative ideas for my clients.

This section of my website contains an EXPANDED BIOGRAPHY of my work and life.

Introduction to My Professional Services
Work Experience (1976 to today)
Overview of 57 years of Experience
Detailed Description of 57 years of Experience
World Travel Overview
My General Professional Focus

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Robert Alan Black, Ph.D., CSP

International Creative Workplace Consultant

recipient of the Certified Speaking Professional Award from both the National Speakers Association & International Federation of Professional Speakers

Creative Education Foundation Awards

Colleague (5 yrs) 1991),

Leadership Service & Commitment (15 yrs) 2001

Prince of Creativity at 51st CPSI in St. Paul

DLA – Distinguished Leader Award (June 27, 2006)

Leaders Choice Award (Most Dangling Things on his Name Badge – June 2007 at CPSI)

– – – –

2010 ACA Dave Tanner – Champion of Creativity

ACRE – Excellence of Creativity Award (2012)

ACRE – Beyonder Lifetime Award (2014)

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Detailed VITAE 2014-RABvitae of professional background


Robert Alan Black is my given name.

The name I prefer people to call me is Alan.

I have a few creative pseudonyms or aliases:

Dr. Black,

the colorful white man named Black,

Dr. I. L. Create,

the Viz Whiz and

the Creativity Wizard.

You hopefully will begin to know me as Alan.


My Professional Services include

speaking, consulting and training in…



understanding yourself better in order to better understand and work with others (M.I.N.D. Design™)


leading styles and skills


one on one to large audience speeches


teaming…leading to being a member


creative thinking & creative problem solving



As a creative idea consultant I offer three related services individually or through virtual teams assembled specifically for clients:

generate ideas for specific problems or needs

facilitate idea generation by or with my client’s people

train my client’s people in one to many techniques for generating ideas.


WORK EXPERIENCE – 1976 to Today

The following describes my professional life from 1960 to the present.

It explains how I went from being a licensed architect to become an international workplace creative thinking development consultant.


Overview of Experience


47 separate jobs in 51 years

from one day to 25+ years.

Employee of the Month 300+ months in a row  (I am the only employee…ha ha)

1960 – 1966 miscellaneous jobs involving creative skills.

1966 – 1984 working as a/an…

licensed architect,

interior designer,

graphics & signage designer,

TV newswriter & editor,

freelance cartoonist,

freelance writer,

college professor,

speaker & consultant

1984 to present working as an…

Internationally Focused

Workplace Creative Thinking Consultant


Detailed Description of Professional Background


1960 began working as a freelance artist while in high school.  While in college studying to become an architect, worked full-time, 7 days a week as a television news writer and editor for WXYZ-TV, ABC affiliate station in Detroit, Michigan.

1966 began working as an apprentice architect.  Over the next 18 years worked as a Licensed Architect, Freelance Cartoonist and Writer, College Professor, Graphic Artist, Signage Designer, Interior Designer and Speaker/Consultant.

Throughout my life I have had 47 jobs lasting from one day to over 20 years.  From these many experiences being needing to be creative every day for my employers and clients I gained a rich resource of examples to help others expand and use their own creative thinking skills and abilities.

Parallel to my professional work in 1976 I began working as a volunteer teacher with academically gifted elementary students, including my oldest son, Jeffrey Alan Black, while running my own architectural and graphic design firm.  During the next 3 years I attended many conferences and workshops on “gifted education” which introduced me to many authorities on the “teaching of creative thinking”.  Their work inspired me to change careers one more time to become a creative thinking consultant.

As part of my plan to become a creative thinking consultant in 1978

I attended the annual Creative Problem Solving Institute, sponsored by the Creative Education Foundation in Buffalo, New York with my goal to discover where I could work on a doctorate in creativity.  While at that, my first, CPSI (I have been involved yearly as a participant and volunteer leader at CPSI since 1978) I met many of the leading authorities including the one I became honored to count as a close professional and personal friend for over 25 years until he died in 2003, E. Paul Torrance.

E Paul Torrance – My Ph.D. graduation                      Sid and Bea Parnes

University of Georgia 1983                                            50th CPSI in 2004

In September 1979 my family and I moved to Athens, Georgia to begin work on my doctorate in creative thinking with Dr. E. Paul Torrance, the most renown authority, author and researcher of creativity in the world.

In 1980, because of my background in architecture and design, I landed a position as a professor of design in the Art Department of the University of Georgia where over the next 4 years I taught over 400 students in Interior Design, Graphic Design and Environmental Design in addition to specific coursework many ways how to tap and use their creativity each day, 5 days a week.  The courses included architectural design, lighting design, interior design, furniture design, and presentation skills with 8 to 25 students per each course.

In 1984 while still teaching I began my practice as a workplace consultant and professional speaker focusing on developing skills in

creative thinking & problem solving, leading, communicating, & teamwork.

As a speaker and workplace consultant, I have focused on helping my clients and audiences in™ Creative Thinking and Creativeness Throughout Their Workplaces© through:

face-to-face consulting

custom-designed opening and closing conference sessions


training programs

advances (instead of retreats)

idea generation sessions or training

My sessions, programs and presentations combine down-to-earth, directly useful content with enthusiasm, humor and highly interactive exercises in all sessions. Every program offers participants ideas and techniques that can be used immediately in their workplace and in their personal lives.

The results for my clients and participants in my programs are 1,000’s of ideas to generate new products and/or services, increase profits, solve problems, surpass competition, improve staff morale, and reduce staff problems.

My primary focus is to help people recognize that they are more creative than they currently believe and train them on how to expand and enrich the creative thinking of everyone they work with or their families. The results all depend on the goals of the people themselves.

Since 1976, I have given over 3,600 presentations and workshops for individuals or groups and audiences on 6 continents: North and South America, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa.

Since 1977, when I returned from my first extended trip to Europe,

I have been giving speeches or holding workshops, seminars or retreats.

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My clients have been:

medium to large corporations (department or plants)

city and county governments


volunteer organizations

In 1984 I began my company RAB, Inc. Under the corporate name I do business as


as a full-time speaker and consultant and a firm of virtual teams assembled from around the world.

I began by making speeches about lessons I had learned from my traveling to over 20 countries in 1977. Now I based my presentations on work experiences over 47 years combined with research and searching over nearly 30 years combined my 5 college degrees and extensive workshop training in creative thinking, problem solving, communication, conflict resolution, team work, leadership and thinking styles.

My audiences then were church groups, professional and civic organizations and schools. Yes, I did eat a lot of FREE meals in the beginning. It is amazing how many different ways chicken can be prepared.

In a couple years I moved professionally into programs on leading, communicating, teaming and creative thinking skills and styles as a part-time job in 1979 until 1984. Since 1984 I have been working full-time as a speaker and workplace consultant.

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1977 – throughout Europe, Egypt, Greece, Yugoslavia

and the UK for 110 days.

1978 – again to the UK and France for 5 weeks.

1982 – taught and traveled in Italy for 3 months.

1990 – did my first training programs in The Netherlands

1998 – South Africa to present at the 4th African Creativity Conference and have every year since and to travel.

1999 – added Turkey to my travels most years to present at Turkish Creativity Conferences in Istanbul and to travel in that region of the world.

2001 – first time completely around the world,

speaking in 16 of 18 countries.

2002 – South Africa, Turkey, Canada, Mexico, England and Scotland to work with clients.

2003 – around the world 3 separate times (84, 25, 9 days) going to 30 countries presenting, researching, developing connections, working with other consultants and gathering information and examples for future programs and consultation.

2004 – a dozen different countries doing programs for clients and presenting at international conferences, including:

Taiwan, South Africa, Ukraine, Singapore, and Italy.

2005 – worked for 3 weeks in Scandinavia with 5 companies and organizations in Denmark, did a workshop for about 50 people at a castle in Holland, traveled to Finland and Sweden and then presented in Singapore, Turkey, Italy, and traveled in Germany, Japan (Cherry Festivals), and Taiwan and traveled to South Africa in September and October. In December I went on an 11 day trip again to Singapore where I also did a two-day workshop Singapore for the Singapore Institute for Business. During that short trip I also took a boat over to Batam, Indonesia and on my return trip I had to change planes in Hong Kong.

2006 – Singapore trip in August scheduled but cancelled due to low registration of workshop. Rescheduled to November.  September a trip to a Y-Camp to the west of Toronto to present at and attend MIND CAMP, a fun and creative Creativity Weekend Workshop. Also in September another annual trip to South Africa to once again present and participate in the South African Creativity Conference (A.C.R.E.) and to present in the first Educators Conference held outside Cape Town at a beautiful resort, Goudini Spa.  In 2004 I presented at a South Africa-wide Educators Creativity Conference at Alpine Heath in the Drakkenberg Mountains in the southeastern part of SA. November off to a resort near Brisbane, Australia to present at and be part of a symposium about creativity in ALL Animals. I also spent a few days in Sydney before the Symposium and a couple in Templestowe, a suburb of Melbourne with friends and to present at the Templestowe Rotary meeting.

2007 – Travel included…. January – El Salvador, San Salvador. April – Dublin Ireland (cancelled). September – Toronto, Canada. September/October South Africa. October – Copenhagen, Denmark (cancelled).

2008 – Travel included…. February – Singapore; March – Sarasota, Florida; June – Saratoga Springs, New York; July – England; September – Toronto, Canada; Sept-Oct – South Africa & Botswana; November – Singapore.

2009 – Travel plans included…. Feb either Florida/Philadelphia or Dubai, March Portugal, July, possibly England again, Sept. Toronto, Sept/Oct. South Africa for 11th trip, November Singapore possibly.

2010 – South Africa, Singapore,  Cambodia, Vietnam

2011 – Malaysia, Canada, South Africa, Singapore, Malaysia (2nd time)

2012 – Canada, South Africa, Namibia, Singapore, Brazil

2013 – Dubai, New Zealand, Malaysia (3 times), Brazil, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Canada

2014 – Italy, France, Canada, Brazil, Malaysia (2 times), Singapore, South Africa, Abu Dhabi

2015 – Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, around Georgia and Buffalo, New York.


My General Professional Focus


Now after many years of full-time speaking and consulting,

I integrate all my:

My life passion and focus are both to help people like you and your staff or your association members become
more creative,
stronger leaders,
more effective communicators,
professional quality presenters and…
even more positive team members and leaders,
from the front door or factory floor to the executive suite.

Continue reading throughout my web site as you choose.

Thank you for visiting me in cyberspace.


to see some videos go to this YouTube Channel.

copyright 2016 – Robert Alan Black, Ph.D., CSP