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Pecha Kucha Where Good Ideas Come From


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This is a video based upon the book, Where Good Ideas Come From.

This is a video based upon the book, Where Good Ideas Come From.

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  • 1. Where Good Ideas Come From The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson A Pecha Kucha Presentation by Laura Comppen
  • 2. What is a ‘good idea’?
    • The Wheel
    • Sliced Bread
    • Toilet Paper
    • The Internet
    They’re all good ideas!!
  • 3.
    • Many good ideas start from old fashioned contemplation and are often inspired by nature, such as ‘Darwin’s Paradox’ - his scientific observations of coral reefs in the Keeling Islands in 1836.
    What sparks a good idea?
  • 4. Some good ideas are inspired by other good ideas.
    • Modern neonatal incubators were inspired by a chicken exhibit at the Paris Zoo in the late 1870’s.
  • 5.
    • In developing countries, where technology is scarce, neonatal incubators are built with automobile parts for easy and accessible repair.
    Some good ideas are influenced by culture.
  • 6.
    • Sandals fashioned from used tires are a true testament to human ingenuity.
    Some good ideas are recycled from old ones.
  • 7.
    • Scientists theorize that life on earth began as a series of molecules known as the ‘primordial soup’; which combined to form proteins, later forming the boundaries of cells - leading to the onset of human life on earth.
    Some good ideas - such as life as we know it - are borne from biology.
  • 8. Good ideas can develop through the ‘adjacent possible’.
    • Like a series of doors in a room, change and innovation can be ‘opened’ through the adjacent possible…ideas built upon on the present state of things. A biological example of this would be species, such as dinosaurs, evolving new bones to adapt to their environment, which ultimately led to wings and flight.
  • 9. The ‘adjacent possible’ has its limitations.
    • Although creative potential is unleashed through the ‘adjacent possible’, there is a finite number of prospects available. Think of it as the number of recipes available using only cake mix ingredients.
  • 10.
    • Insight is often inspired by contemplation with nature
    • Liquid networks are fertile ground for innovation
    • Forward thinking people interacting within high-density populations
    • True insight takes time to cultivate
    • Hunches that collide with other hunches = good ideas
    Good ideas share similar patterns.
  • 11. Good ideas share similar developmental timelines.
    • Twentieth century innovation followed the 10/10 rule: a decade to build a new platform, and a decade for it to find a new audience. Think AM radio, VCR’s, and cell phones.
    • Today’s time frame may be shorter. Think Facebook and YouTube.
  • 12. Good ideas can be influenced by environment.
    • Big cities foster more exploration of the adjacent possible than towns or villages. A great example of this is the Renaissance… a period of tremendous artistic and scientific growth stemming from the great minds collaborating in Venice, Florence and Genoa, the largest cities in Italy at the time.
  • 13. A good idea develops in a network.
    • Like ingredients mixing together in a recipe, a ‘liquid network’ enables the ingredients to collide and make new connections, forming a sum greater than its parts.
    Steven Johnson
  • 14.
    • City life enables a ‘liquid network’ - a space that allows great minds to interact, resulting in ‘information spillover’ – the liquidity of information in dense settlements. Think: cities and the Web.
    • Double-entry accounting, the cornerstone of all financial bookkeeping, was invented in the capital trade cities of Northern Italy in the 13 th century.
    Networks can produce many good ideas.
  • 15.
    • Hunches can be quick and instinctual; or develop over a longer period of time.
    • Important innovation is likely to take place when hunches collide with other hunches.
            • Darwin’s theory of natural selection began with a hunch.
    Good ideas can be intuitive.
  • 16.
    • Hunches, combined with serendiptous dreams can blossom into a good idea, even significant scientific discovery.
    Serendipity can play a role in developing good ideas. German chemist Kekule von Stradonitz’ dreams about Greek mythology became a basis for a revolution in organic chemistry.
  • 17.
    • When developing a good idea, a steady persistent accumulation of error can translate into success. In other words, being incredibly wrong can lead to being overwhelmingly right!
    Error can factor into developing good ideas.
  • 18. Good ideas are built upon platforms.
    • Discoveries frequently come from existing areas (platforms) and turn out many mass-appeal ideas: Early microwave technology > current Global Positioning System, or GPS -
  • 19.
    • Good ideas come from many sources, have much in common and share similar traits and timelines. But the true key of invention lies back within Darwin’s Paradox: the ability to collaborate; as this is where ideas emerge, collide, and recombine…often to great success.
    Good ideas surround us.
  • 20.
    • Where Good Ideas Come From
    • The Natural History of Innovation
    • by Steven Johnson
    • New York: Penguin Group
    • 2010
    • All images courtesy of Google Images
    Good ideas are inspired by postgraduate reading material.