Hello, this is session five. Let's talk about truly, outstanding supercreative people. Let's see what we can learn from their lives and from their inventions. Let's learn from Einstein, da Vinci and Edison. Albert Einstein, winner of the Nobel Prize was born in 1879. He died in April 1955. I feel a kind of personal link to Einstein, I studied economics at Princeton University. Albert Einstein spent many years at the Institute for Advanced Study, which was in Princeton. I remember, jogging pass Einstein's house, pass the institute and very modest little house always thinking about what a great man lived in there. Always wondering what was it about Einstein that enabled him to come up with such wonderful path-breaking ideas. What was it about his brain that made him so creative? And of course, me, somewhat less so. So there's some lessons we can learn from Einstein. Einstein was a rebel. He did the mastery part, the Confucius part that we spoke about earlier. He understood modern physics. He learned what the old knowledge was about physics, but he also challenged the old knowledge as a rebel and asked hard questions. Questions that others weren't asking. He asked such hard questions. That his lecturers, who expected respect from their students were offended. When Einstein finished his PhD and expected to get a job as a lecturer, he found that he couldn't teach in a university. Because the professors who taught him, refused to write him recommendation letters. Not because he was not qualified, but because he was not respectful. He was rebellious. So the best he could do was to get a job in the Swiss Patent Office and this was not a job that was very challenging for him, he had a lot of time. And because he had a lot of time, he was able to write path-breaking papers, hiding his papers sometimes when his supervisors came to see what he was doing. And in one single year, created path-breaking, creative ideas that changed our total understanding of the world and our understanding of physics, particles, the nature of matter. In that one amazing year in 1905, he wrote papers [COUGH] about the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion. About light being a particle, not just a wave. His special theory of relativity. And of course, the very famous paper connecting energy and mass. E=mc squared. I wonder if Einstein would have been as productive had he been an academic rather than a patent examiner with a job that gave him a lot of free time to think and to write. One thing we learn from Einstein is that free time is really important. [COUGH] Dead time. I notice young people these days who have no dead time, because any dead time they have is always spent on their smartphones, but dead time is important. Waiting in doctor's offices and your mind floats free, because it has nothing particular to do at that moment and that's when your mind is open of creative ideas come flowing into your mind when you allow your mind to be empty and not thinking about anything in particular. A few things that Einstein said that are very wise and relate to creativity. Education is what remains when you forget everything you learned in school. That means that you first, you learned the stuff you learned at school and then you forget it, because you try to go on and challenge it and create your own knowledge. His e=mc squared equation was remarkable, because it began as a very complicated equation. And if you look at his writing, he eliminated everything that wasn't essential until he simplified it down to the basics. Energy, mass and the speed of light. But Einstein forgot what he learned in school, which is that time is invariant and asked himself what happens if time itself can change? What if time slows down and the only constant thing is the speed of light rather than time itself. What if time slows as a particle approaches the speed of light? A question others had not really asked. He told us you can not solve a problem with the same level of thinking that created it. Always to be a creative thinker, you have to rise above the kind of thinking, the pattern of thinking that created a problem or created a need. If you remain at the same ground level, where the problems arose, you will never get above it in order to come up with creative ideas. And of course, always try to simplify. Simplify as much as possible. Einstein said, but not more so. By simplifying, by removing complexity, we sometimes can come up with creative ideas by getting to the very, very core of problems. Wisdom is not a product of schooling, but of the life long attempt to acquire it. Life long learning, continuing to try to learn to understand, sometimes to forget what we learn, to think about new ideas. Einstein was in many ways, a rebel. He had some failures. He had some theories that didn't work. He abandoned theories that actually did work. But always, always challenging assumptions. Always the rebel, but the rebel who had mastered what physics knew at the time and wanted to go on and create new things. How to be an Einstein business innovator? Get low grades in school. I'm not recommending that you get low grades in school, but Einstein did. And they partly did, because of his rebellious nature. His teacher said, nothing will ever come of him, that happens very often to many creative people. Einstein's high school teacher is famous, probably only, because of what he said about one of the world's smartest people. Always looks for big picture linkages to connect the unconnected. Einstein went for long walks in the Swiss mountains. He loved walking in the mountains with his friend and he did thought experiments. What would happen if you were on a spaceship and you were going at the speed of light? What would happen to time? He conducted these thought experiments that often led to very creative, new ideas. [COUGH] So another creative person was Leonardo da Vinci, who lived well over 500 years ago. He was the child of a notary and accountant and a peasant woman from the village of Vinci and his mother and father weren't married. At the time, that was a black mark against da Vinci and it was his secret of success. He had been respectable, born legitimately, then he would've become a notary and an accountant like his distinguished father, been a member of the guild. Instead, he was a non-person and he could do absolutely whatever he wanted. Learn to paint, learn sculpture, learn science, dissect bodies, discover anatomy and so on. He was free to pursue his ideas and his love of learning. A wonderful book by Michael Gelb called How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci, talks about da Vinci's Seven Key principles that can be used by all of us to design our lives. These principles are in Italian, we can translate them to English. Curiosity. Always, always be curious. I recently spoke to 76 year old space scientist, responsible for helping to build the satellites in my country and he has a spring in his step. He's lively, interesting, talks a mile a minute and his secret I asked him, what is your secret? His secret of being 76 and vital and relevant is curiosity. Always, always asking questions about new things going on. Dimostrazione, demonstrate, experiment, try things. So we need to try things always in order to see, if they'll work. The only trial for an idea is whether someone is made happy by it and the only way you'll know that is by actually implementing it. Sensazione, our senses. Really seeing things, da Vinci was a superb observer, he did sketches. He saw things other people didn't see. Heard things other people didn't hear, sharpen your senses. Sfumato, means kind of vagueness of smokey vagueness, lack of precision. Creative people are comfortable with vagueness and conflict. Cognitive dissonance between two different ideas, their comfortable in being uncomfortable. Their comfortable with vague ideas rather than having to nail everything down to every detail. Art and science. Da Vinci was a scientist, he understood how the blood circulated in the body. He even know that the Earth revolved around the sun, long before Galileo and Copernicus. So he was a great scientist, but he was an artist and he did the Mona Lisa and many other wonderful things and his wonderful sculptures. So he combined the vagueness of art and the precision of science and he made those two things live together. Corporalita, our bodies. He cultivated his body, he was a walker, he walked for miles and miles and miles. Connessione, connecting things that we normally don't connect. So creative people can link x and y in ways that nobody else has ever done. They see connections, where other people don't see them. Those are the Seven Key principles of da Vinci's creativity, as brought to us by Michael Gelb and one last story. The left hand part of your screen shows da Vinci's sketch of a parachute. It's a triangular parachute that da Vinci invented long before there were helicopters or airplanes, which he invented also. By the way, on his sketchbooks. And on the right-hand side, you see Olivier Vietti-Teppa, a Swiss Engineer. Who built a da Vinci type parachute, a triangular shaped parachute and jumped out of the helicopter with it and safely landed on the ground over 500 years after da Vinci sketched the first parachute. [COUGH] So I think one of the points here is, [COUGH] it's great to have super imaginative, creative ideas, but I doubt if many of us would like to wait 500 years to see how our ideas tested. We need somehow to make our ideas, at least some of them. Actually, happen sooner than five centuries after we write them down. Thomas Edison, America's great inventor, the holder of over a thousand patents and Michael Gelb has also written a fine book about how to innovate like Edison and what we can learn from Edison. Part of Edison's secret was kind of da Vinci and Einstein, you notice both Edison and Einstein had many things going against them. Da Vinci, the fact that he was born illegitimate. Einstein, the fact that he did poorly in school. That his professors wouldn't recommend him, that he was an outsider and a rebel. And Edison's difficulty, challenge was that, as a child he was very hard of hearing. He had a childhood illness, [COUGH] that illness damaged his hearing and when he went to school, he couldn't hear the teacher. And the teacher said that this boy, Thomas Edison is stupid and sent him home to his mother. His mother knew that he was bright and she homeschooled him. And Edison's hearing, which was poor for his entire life. Actually, led to one of his great inventions, the phonograph. Edison knew, being hard of hearing, he used his sense of touch to feel the vibrations of sound on a tabletop and he knew sound was actually a physical entity. And that gave him the idea that if sound was a vibration, maybe he could capture that vibration on a wax cylinder with a vibrating needle and then maybe you could play it back. So for the first time, you could record people's voices. Perhaps, people singing and then play it back to them. So they could hear it again, you could capture sound. And that led to the phonograph, which directly resulted from his impaired hearing. According to Gelb, Edison had five skills that helped a lot in his innovations in his inventing the use of electric lighting and many other inventions. [COUGH] It was a solution-centered mindset. He focused on a problem. How can we create better lighting than gas lighting, we have now, which is dangerous and smelly? Kaleidoscope thinking. He thought in terms of ecosystems and electricity was a system not an invention. It wasn't just the light bulb. It was the light bulb, the dynamo. The wires bringing the electricity from the generating plant to the light bulb. The switches, the on-off switches, a whole system. Full spectrum engagement, his entire being was involved in cracking the problem of creating electric lighting in his lab despite many failures. A mastermind collaboration, he had a lab with really, really expert people. And of course, super-value creation. You create great value by tackling really, really big problems. How can we light up the world, which is what Edison succeeded in doing in the end. I might just mention that Edison, in fact was not the first to come up with the light bulb, it was an Englishman named Joseph Wilson Swan, who invented a much better light bulb in New Castle in England in 1878. But Edison developed a carbon filament and his filament was good enough, what we call a minimum valuable product. He demonstrated his design. He implemented it in the home of a man named J.P. Morgan. There was such a person. He was a wealthy banker, created a bank named after him to this very day. Edison lit up his home on Wall Street in front of the press and made a great buzz about it, because he wanted money, an investment from J.P. Morgan to help him implement his electric light idea. And of course, it worked very well. Edison wasn't the first. Very often, it's not the first person who had the idea, but he's the person who's best able to implement it. So we've seen three stories about three super creative people who changed the world and they were all very different, but they had one thing in common. [COUGH] They all had major challenges. [COUGH] Difficulty in hearing, illegitimate birth and for Einstein failure to get along with his teachers and his professors and lack of references. And all of them turn these challenges into parts of their creative process, things that actually help their creativity rather than undermine them. If you yourself face challenges, remember these three men. Remember that we can take our challenges and actually make them part of our creativity rather than things that hinder our creativity. So our next session we'll go on next to look at session number six. In session six, I'd like to bring you some stories. In session six and seven, stories about simple inventions we use everyday and how they happen and what we can learn from them.