Author of Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation We live in a connected world – he argues that very few good ideas come from an “Eureka!” moment but rather it is the product of reflection, time, and network interactions. He gave as examples the invention of the Internet by Tim Berners-Lee (Brit) while working at CERN. He called the process the “Slow Hunch”, alluding to the fermentation of ideas across time. Another example related Darwin’s Natural Selection hypothesis did not spontaneously come to his mind, rather it again took time and much reading and interacting with other people on a variety of topics.
He also brought another tool used in the past was what is called the COMMONPLACE book which is a way to compile knowledge – a common technique in the past. This helped keep information as ideas were brewing.
He mentioned that a tool in today’s world is DEVONTHINK a German company that electronically does what the COMMONPLACE book would do and a lot more. [Note: ASKSAM in the PC platform did the same type of thing – a free form data base]
He also alluded to networking that works and is “fertile” are social interactions in the “Liquid Network” such as coffee houses, etc. He noted also that the diversity of coffee house customers added to the richness of the ideas being generated.
For students he suggested building conceptual bridges – something that teachers can do to foster using real-life situations. He also commented that the game “Dawn of Discovery” was very useful to foster responsibility, interconnectedness, and responsibility as players build their fortunes and are successful/failures in performing and running their enterprises.