innovation | April 22, 2014

Embrace the Near Win: Sarah Lewis' TED Talk [VIDEO]

Sarah Lewis' book The Rise has been praised for its bold insights on the roots of innovation and creativity. Now, her triumphant TED talk from Vancouver has been posted online (embedded above). Please take a few moments to watch her graceful, measured, and horizon-expanding keynote on the importance of failed experiments and near-wins. In her uplifting talk, Lewis lays out the difference between success (achieving something once) and mastery (being able to do something well, over and over again).

In a recent interview with MIT Technology Review, Lewis addressed the themes of her book and provided insight into the path to innovation. She pointed to the importance of the arts in technology and science innovation and the "disproportionately high number of Nobel laureates in the sciences who have artistic avocations that don’t drop away when their scientific work ramps up." But why do the arts play an important role in developing new ideas? Lewis says:

"If you’re in a math or science class and you’re trying to learn different equations, there’s an answer and you’re trying to arrive at it. But if I’m drawing a beautiful plant—say I wanted to make the lines really thick. The teacher can’t come over and say, 'You know, the lines should be thinner.' There’s no should, really. Ultimately it’s up to the person creating the work to determine what the path is, and that kind of agency is what’s required for innovation."

In a short time, Lewis has already become one of our most requested speakers. To book Sarah Lewis for a keynote on innovation, creativity, and mastery, contact The Lavin Agency.

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