By Elizabeth Murphy
Creative New Jersey
Lately it seems like the entire country is talking about creativity, innovation and sustainability. There exists a plethora of news stories, opinion articles, academic papers, and blog posts all touting the importance of embracing creativity, fostering imagination, encouraging innovation, and the need for developing sustainable models.
I want to highlight some recent favorite videos and articles from around the country:
Deadlines Kill Creativity (video via I Am Bored)
“To prove to their deadline-setting clients that creativity takes time, an ad agency visited some children with a task.”
Roger McNamee: Six ways to save the internet (video via TED)
“The next big shift is now, and it’s not what you think: Facebook is the new Windows; Google must be sacrificed. At TEDxSantaCruz, tech investor Roger McNamee presents 6 bold ways to prepare for the next internet.”
Start-Up Nation: The Blueprint for an Innovation Recovery (via The Atlantic)
“The best way to promote innovation is to clear the way for the main agents of innovation: the entrepreneurs who create new businesses.”
The 3 Biggest Barriers To Innovation, And How To Smash Them (via Fast Company Design)
“Luke Williams, a fellow at Frog, argues that coming up with breakthrough innovation isn’t just a matter of being brilliant. Rather, he lays out a systematic method for overcoming the usual barriers that hem in great ideas.”
Why Creativity and Innovation Are Not Interchangeable (via Creative Communities Conversation blog)
“It has been interesting to me how interchangeable the words ‘creativity’ and ‘innovation’ have become – particularly in the business community. The truth is that while they are clearly connected and intertwined, they are not interchangeable.”
And while we may not agree with all of the viewpoints, one thing is clear to me: when we meet at the intersection of seemingly disparate disciplines, we have the opportunity for our own ideas to clash and combine with others, thereby encouraging an explosion of potentially groundbreaking, new ideas.
A colleague of mine recently reminded me of Frans Johansson’s book The Medici Effect in which the author elaborates on the importance of the “intersection.” Johansson states, “When you step into an intersection of fields, disciplines, or cultures, you can combine existing concepts into a large number of extraordinary new ideas. The name I have given this phenomenon, the Medici Effect, comes from a remarkable burst of creativity in fifteenth-century Italy. The Medici’s were a banking family in Florence who funded creators from a wide range of disciplines. Thanks to this family and a few others like it, sculptors, scientists, poets, philosophers, financiers, painters, and architects converged upon the city of Florence. There they found each other, learned from one another, and broke down barriers between disciplines and cultures. Together they forged a new world based on new ideas—what became known as the Renaissance. As a result, the city became the epicenter of a creative explosion, one of the most innovative eras in history. The effects of the Medici family can be felt even to this day. We, too, can create the Medici Effect.”
Indeed we can, for in New Jersey, we already have a culture of collaboration in existence. Our challenge now is to deepen these relationships while forging new discussions with people in disciplines we’ve not yet had any contact with. Could this be an end-of-year goal? Could we all challenge ourselves to jump into the intersection and reach out to at least one person, in a different field, before the end of 2011? If we step out of our comfort zone and into the intersection, we will ignite the spark of our own creativity and innovation, and in the process, be setting the wheels in motion for exciting and daring new ideas to take hold. And dare I say, perhaps one day, our efforts might become known as “The Jersey Effect”…so join us in this discussion on Facebook and let us know of the new connection you made before 2011 comes to a close!