On this unpredictable, zigzagging path, the science slowly built upon itself, squeezing knowledge from failure.… Read More How the Vaccines Were Created
The creation of Christmas, the secular holiday, is a story of collaborative creativity. Christmas trees, giving gifts, Santa–all emerged from a distributed social process. It’s a story about history and culture; about the industrial revolution and the family; and about how our conceptions of childhood have changed. It’s a story of social innovation. Some older… Read More The Collaborative Creation of Christmas
The research is pretty strong: People have better ideas when they interact with others. When people get together they often have collectively-owned ideas that no one person would have alone. This research is widely accepted by both psychologists, sociologists, and organization scholars. But there’s been a backlash, perhaps starting with Susan Cain’s 2013 book Quiet:… Read More The Serbian Hermit Who Prefers to Be Alone
The Drucker Institute, named after legendary management scholar Peter Drucker, has released its 2021 rankings for The Best-Managed Companies of 2021, published in today’s Wall Street Journal. Take a look at the Innovation Top Ten: Amazon Microsoft IBM Apple Equinix Capital One Johnson & Johnson Walmart Uber Intel How did they calculate a single number… Read More The Most Innovative Companies: The WSJ/Drucker Institute Ranking
The singer-songwriter is stereotyped as the classic lone genius. Holding a guitar, meditating on life, an idea for a song emerges from the unconscious spirit. In our mythical view, the songwriter can’t tell us how they did it–the song just came to them, an inspiration. But this isn’t how songwriting works, according to a new… Read More Paul Simon: Songwriting as Improvisation
I’m re-reading Steven Poole’s 2016 book Rethink: The Surprising History of New Ideas. He goes far back into history to find the distant roots of today’s inventions, and here’s what he found: The story of human understanding is not a gradual, stately accumulation of facts…[instead it’s] a wild roller-coaster ride full of loops and switchbacks. Some… Read More The Roller-Coaster Ride of Innovation
A team of researchers analyzed 201 articles in three business magazines and found 17 major claims about creativity.… Read More Can you trust what you read in business magazines?
Do you imagine artists working alone, in a basement somewhere, detached from society? Do you imagine them being poor, bad with money, unable to function well in the everyday world of work? This image is mostly false. Artists are embedded in the world, just like the rest of us, according to a recent article by… Read More Artists Who Work
We still don’t know. Don’t believe the headlines you read about a new scientific study of cave sketches by Neandertals. The study itself is good, solid science: it demonstrates that Neandertals made rough sketches on cave walls–geometric shapes and stencils of hands. The study was published in the leading journal Science (read the article here). You… Read More Neandertals Were Creative! Or were they?
This week in “The Maker Movement and Education,” a UNC undergraduate class taught by Professor Keith Sawyer: This week the students are exploring how to use programmable robots to help children learn. I asked the students to find a lesson plan activity on line, one that uses one of three robots to help children learn… Read More Learning with Robots at UNC