Can Art Save Us? MIT Instructor Fred Mandell Explains How

  • NEW YORK, New York
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  • April 01, 2015

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Can Art Save Us? by Fred Mandell

Can Art Save Us? A new book by Fred Mandell, PhD, explores How Art and Creativity Can Drive Innovation, Help Produce Transformational Leaders, and Ultimately Improve Society

Many people underrate the significance of art in contemporary society.  With advances in technology being made on an almost daily basis, people are even more apt to overlook the value of art. However, the study of art or studying arts provides benefits which go far beyond analytical thinking.  Art allows people to think creatively, and have an open-minded approach to confronting and solving today’s most complex problems. Such “out of the box” thinking is critical for today’s leaders, who need to develop solutions to large-scale problems where the simplest solution is not always the best.

As a way to help bridge the gap between art and leadership, MIT Sloan School of Management instructor and CEO of the Global Institute for the Arts and Leadership, Fred Mandell, PhD wrote the fascinating new book, Can Art Save Us?  This new book is not in a conventional format with chapters.  It does not offer simple steps to creating your best life or how to develop a plan of action for your business.   Rather, it is a deep inquiry attempting to understand leadership of self and others, the nature of the creative process, and the relevance of that process in today’s troubled world.  Can Art Save Us? begins as a personal inquiry into creativity and, then, through a compelling and beautifully rendered  series of reflections, anecdotes, stories, memoirs, poems, koans, and visual images, Mandell challenges us to appreciate  us how creative skills and an “art mindset” can make us more effective managers, leaders, and entrepreneurs in today’s ever-changing world.

In this insightful, informative and inspirational book, Mandell also explores:

  • A  framework for creative leadership
  • Ways we can develop our own creative processes
  • Art making as a different form of thinking and problem solving
  • How art leads to new innovative breakthroughs and products
  • And so much more!

“I worry about the world because we are faced with seemingly intractable problems. The old ways of thinking are not getting us to where we need to be,” says Mandell. “A new kind of thinking is required, and I believe art can help provide that.”


Fred Mandell currently serves as the President and CEO of The Global Institute for Arts and Leadership (“TGIAL”).  TGIAL is a non-profit that creates, curates, and delivers arts-based experiences, programs, and training that catalyze transformational change and renewal in companies, organizations, and communities.  He is also an instructor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management where he teaches the program The Leader as an Artist. 


With an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in History, and an Ed.M in Psychology from Boston University, he served as an executive at American Express Financial Advisors for 21 years.  During his tenure, he built the top sales division in the company and then became the first sales leader to run a multi-billion dollar investment company.  However, he left the corporate world to pursue his passion for sculpture and painting.  He is the author of the novel The Mourning Road (Micah Publications), and the non-fiction book Becoming a Life Change Artist: 7 Creative Skills to Reinvent Yourself at Any Stage of Life (Penguin Publishing).


He has been featured on PBS, and quoted by numerous media outlets including Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, WGBH-TV, and the Journal of Financial Planning


A current resident of Needham, Massachusetts, Mandell has been married for forty-five years.  He is also the proud father of three children and four grandchildren 


Books will be available on and


To connect with Mandell, please visit:

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