The Origin Of Good Ideas

There’s a live stream from the RSA on Tuesday 2 November at 13.00 on “Where Do Good Ideas Come From?” featuring best-selling author Steven Johnson:

Steven Johnson has spent twenty years immersed in creative industries, was active at the dawn of the internet and has a unique perspective that draws on his fluency in fields ranging from neurobiology to new media. Why have cities historically been such hubs of innovation? What do the printing press and Apple have in common? And what does this have to do with the creation and evolution of life itself?

Video of Steven Johnson summarising his views at TED.

He starts off by talking about the role that coffee houses played in England in catalysing the Enlightenment and goes on from this to describe other environments and situations that have been highly conducive to developing new ideas. His aim is to try to identify common patterns that we can try to replicate to improve innovation in both work and our personal lives.

Reviews of his book from the Guardian, The Independent and New Scientist give some interesting pros and cons.

On the theme of ‘innovative environments’ (although on a much smaller scale), see a previous post on Knowledge Cafes.

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