Many of today’s most innovative thinkers aren’t reinventing the wheel. They’re applying existing technologies to unlikely problems. They’re finding elegant and unconventional ways to make our lives better. Why do they succeed where others have failed? Where do these “flashes of insight” come from? Often they’re the result of “outsider thinking”: the ability to forget conventional wisdom and revisit an overworked problem space with fresh eyes.
Historically, outsider thinking has often resulted from chance meetings and experimental accident – the right minds in the right place at the right time. But internet and search technology have placed the whole history of human knowledge at our fingertips, and given us the means to parse it. Using these, we can uncover the principles of outsider thinking, learn to apply them, and build a healthier, more harmonious world.
Through a series of public interviews on Big Think and an online seminar offered through Big Think: Mentor – our online learning platform, we are bringing together visionaries in medicine, communications, education, and the arts – thinkers notable for their elegant, practical solutions to longstanding problems – to discuss the principles and potential applications of outsider thinking.