After several days of sunshine and people wearing lighter clothes the snow and coldness suddenly appeared again in Stockholm this past weekend. As you can imagine people were not very happy. But hey, this is Swedish weather. While the weekend shoppers were complaining about the shift in weather I spent my weekend indoors trying to increase my innovative thinking skills. I attended a workshop about innovative thinking at Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship (SSES).
Without going into much detail, the workshop thought the participants to think differently and how to use creativity and innovation for whatever purpose one might have. This could be either for running a company or in scientific research for example. One thing that I take with me from this workshop was the emphasis on diversity. Though this is not really news to me, the workshop leader strongly emphasized on the fact that a diversified team generates great innovations and success. With a diversified team he meant a team of people with different backgrounds and thus has different expertise and perspectives on things. The workshop leader mentioned that some companies hires people that doesn’t fit the company just because that person might have a completely different view of something that the company has never thought about.
As a scientist I’m now thinking whether that strategy would work in academia? I personally don’t know. Even if it might have worked, the Professors would most likely be very reluctant to hire someone that doesn’t qualify for the job. But it would be interesting to test. When it comes to thinking different in research I do believe that public engagement and science outreach could help. The non-scientists knows much less about science than the scientists and therefore ask questions that scientists never ask and that forces you, the scientist, to think differently.