The IdeaFestival is built around the idea that creativity and lasting innovation require a diverse array of people and ideas. Frans Johansson couldn't agree more. Probably best known as the author of "The Medici Effect," he's out with a new book, "The Click Moment," about the instant when two seemingly unrelated ideas come together in an entirely new way. Here, he talks about the value of "intersections" in his own life at Think Jar:
Think Jar Collective: How did you initially get into this notion of “intersections” fostering creativity?
Frans Johansson: There’s a long and a short answer. The long answer is that I grew up in a very unique environment that allowed me to explore the idea. I was raised in Sweden, to a Swedish dad and an African American and Cherokee mom. So there were a lot of different intersections between Sweden and the US and being black and white, multiple cultures; all these things were intermingling.
These ideas really began to crystallize when I went to college and studied environmental science. I think I chose it because it was such an inter-disciplinary major that allowed me to explore ideas in chemistry, physics, biology, geology and so on. I actually thought that I was going to do Ph.D. in marine biology but I ended up going to business school (Harvard) and then I started a software company. So, all of those ideas I think were and have been processing in the background. I’ve lived a life at intersections between different industries, fields, cultures and disciplines.
"Intersections" just happen to be an IdeaFestival speciality. It's why we worked so hard to bring people like Ray Bradbury, author and prodigious savant Daniel Tammet, and alternate reality game designer Jane McGonigal to past festivals. It's why we'll bring poet Nikky Finney, theoretical physicist Lisa Randall, serial entrepreneur Peter Sims, and host of other incredible and talented people to Louisville this September. Each of them have unique and inspiring stories to share with you - trust me, you don't want to miss Spencer West and Sarathbabu Elumalai at Thrivals.
Read the Johansson interview at ThinkJar, as well as "the rules of randomness and how to stand apart" at 99U. As it turns out, "intersections" are not just good for creatives or for the temporary feel-good high.
Opportunity lies there.