A digital care package for creative minds during social isolation

HST professor and Managing Partner of Emzingo, Pablo Esteves, shares a curated care package of content for creatives to make the best of COVID-19 social isolation.

My name’s Pablo Esteves and I’m a professor of leadership, creativity, and innovation at the IE School of Human Sciences & Technology. My work can be summed up as helping people make a positive impact on their communities and organizations. Most of the time, I’m exploring the intersections of innovation, generative design, and education in diverse sectors. I believe these intersections are a good place to find creative solutions. 

I’m also the managing partner of Emzingo, an award-winning social enterprise dedicated to designing and facilitating learning and development experiences for teams, organizations, and academic institutions. Our experience includes designing and facilitating over 300 social impact projects and learning experiences internationally. All our projects are focused on leadership, human-centered design, and innovation.

To help support the creative minds out there who may be feeling stressed and restless during this period of social isolating and distancing, I put together this digital care package.

Why? The COVID-19 quarantine is not a holiday. Students are still attending virtual classes, working with remote teams, and delivering papers and projects. Thus, their brains need stimuli that is different from course work or a lecture. Creating these lists was a way to connect with them and offer them different perspectives, some inspiration, and motivation to practice their creativity. 

The items I chose for the digital care package are based on applicability and relevance, and some are only available during the quarantine:

  1. This article from The Guardian that provides tips on lockdown living: Start a daily routine, and make weekends different
  2. Similar tips, but from an astronaut: I Spent a Year in Space, and I Have Tips on Isolation to Share
  3. A piece about health anxiety and what to do about it: The Calming Power of Conversation
  4. A Harvard Business Review article on isolation-induced grief: That Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief
  5. A useful guide to jumping over the many creative hurdles you may encounter: How to Overcome Creative Obstacles
  6. A talk about how humor fuels creativity: Taika Waititi: Why Humor is Key to Creativity
  7. A free streaming of The Metropolitan Opera’s archives of past operas, streamed on a nightly basis.
  8. The National Theatre in London’s free stream of plays every Thursday via YouTube.
  9. The NY Books Review’s list of films to watch from home.
  10. This beautiful video about Japanese woodblock printing.
  11. Healthy Minds Innovations’ mindfulness app, which is currently free.
  12. The Guardian on what to read in self-isolation (podcast!).
  13. This conversation with Ross Gay about practicing delight on the ‘On Being’ podcast.
  14. A serialized story written by Damon Lindelof (Lost, The Leftovers, Watchmen). New chapters are uploaded periodically.
  15. An insightful article about change, grief, and meaning.

Positivity and togetherness will get us through this crisis. If this care package was helpful for you, check out our other COVID-related tips, such as how to study remotely, how to protect yourself against cyber attacks, and how one undergrad class took on a lighthearted mindset amongst the chaos, recreating famous paintings with a modern, quarantine-related twist.


pablo estevesPablo Esteves is a managing partner at Emzingo, a certified B Corporation that designs learning and development experiences for teams, organizations, and academic institutions. Pablo is also a professor of Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity at HST and IE Business School. He is a founding member of the Global Design House, a fellow of the Aspen Institute in Spain, and a board member of the Elisa Sednaoui Foundation.