innovation | September 26, 2013

Innovation Speakers Series: Alissa Quart, Maria Konnikova On Creative Thinking

Here at The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau, we represent keynote speakers who have the most compelling and cutting-edge ideas. With the world changing so rapidly, both in business and culture, thriving in the future means thinking differently about it today. The innovation speakers on our roster do just that—re-imagining the spaces we live and work in, rethinking the way we do business, and developing methods for more effectively interacting with the environment around us. For our final entry in our "Innovation Speakers Series," where we focus on speakers whose breakthrough ideas are changing our society for the better, we bring you Alissa Quart and Marina Konnikova.

ALISSA QUART, author of Republic of Outsiders: The Power of Amateurs, Dreamers and Rebels, argues that renegades are the key to a more creative, innovative, and competitive society. While the people she profiled in the book were diverse, she explains that they all had one thing in common: "They live philosophy; they live an idea." In her speeches, Quart explains that this strict adherence to a philosophy or idea makes her subjects rebels, dreamers, and outsiders. That, and it makes them ideal candidates for innovative thinking.

Above: Alissa Quart gives an interview on her book, Republic Of Outsiders.

Quart urges us to look for unexpected innovators everywhere—especially on the fringe of society. In her interactive speeches, she asks her audiences to come up with the sentences that describe what they think of as their weaknesses and strengths. By the end of her talk, she shows the audience how connected these two seemingly opposing characteristics are. She maintains that some of the edgiest concepts promoted by rights movements or independent artists have inspired the mainstream—and can inspire us personally.

MARIA KONNIKOVA also looks to an unlikely source to help enhance innovative thinking: Sherlock Holmes. As the Mastermind author explains in her keynotes, Holmes' powers of thought and observation can expand beyond the fictional world. In fact, you can harness his skills and sharpen your powers of perception, problem solving, and creativity.

Above: Konnikova gives a keynote speech, teaching the audience how to unlock their inner Holmes.

Beginning with the “brain attic”—Holmes’s metaphor for how we store information and organize knowledge—Konnikova unpacks the mental strategies that lead to clearer thinking and deeper insights in her speeches. Drawing on neuroscience and psychology, she explores Holmes’s unique methods of ever-present mindfulness, astute observation, and logical deduction. In doing so, she teaches how anyone, with some self-awareness and a little practice, can employ these same methods to sharpen their perceptions, solve difficult problems, and enhance our creative powers.

In their keynotes, Konnikova and Quart show audiences how inspiration, creativity, and innovation can come from unlikely—but extremely effective—places. To book Maria Konnikova, Alissa Quart, or any of our other innovation speakers for an event, contact The Lavin Agency.

Up Next

new speakers | September 25, 2013