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Creativity in Captivity: Lessons in creativity from an Al Qaeda hostage

With nothing but the clothes on his back, his creativity, and a positive attitude, Stephen McGown managed to survive six years of captivity as a hostage of of Al-Qaeda in the Sahara desert.

In celebration of World Creativity & Innovation Week, we had the privilege of interviewing Stephen and finding out more about what kept him going all those years. He explained how creativity helped him to overcome the physical challenges of living in the harsh environment of the Sahara, as well as the mental challenges of living as a hostage. Here are some excerpts from our interview. 

(For the full story, get your hands on Stephen's fascinating book, Six years with Al Qaeda, which can be ordered on his website.)


Taken hostage by Al-Qaeda

Stephen McGown shortly before being kidnapped in Timbuktu, Mali 

From a young age Stephen dreamed of riding a motorcycle across Africa. Though he grew up in Johannesburg, his holidays were spent on a farm where he...

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