Engineering Serendipity: Is It Possible?

[ 0 ] August 11, 2014 |

“Engineering serendipity” is, in fact, an oxymoron says Greg Lindsay, co-director of the Emergent Cities Project at the World Policy Institute. But he’s trying to do it anyway.

“A serendipitous encounter is one that is lucky, unforeseen,” Lindsay explains. “With the notion of engineering it, it would seem to be impossible.” However, he is trying to make the impossible possible.

WATCH as Greg Lindsay explains how to engineer serendipity for innovation and other purposes: 

WATCH: Artists Exist In Every Neighborhood … of the World’

logo“I’m interested in the notion of … how do you bring together a bunch of really smart people in a space where they can share ideas better?” Lindsay said.

The Internet and social media do this, he explained, but only to an extent. How do you find what you’re looking for if you’re not even sure about what you’re looking for? Where do you start? Lindsay is looking to “spot the gaps in the various social networks,” he explained, in order to find a better way to bring people with similar ideas and qualities together.

WATCH: Facets of the ‘New Philanthropist’

“When it comes to innovation, so much of it can’t be done these days by one person. Everything is done in teams,” Lindsay added. The “best research campus that ever was” had ideas similar to Lindsay’s, he said. They took scientists from different disciplines and put them together so that they could interact. The result, he said, was the “flower of American science,” such as the radar, the laser, and satellites. Lindsay says that this method – putting people together to see what ideas come forth from their interaction – works and it is the reason why there has been a resurgence of technology companies in cities, in particular, since cities have larger populations in which members can interact.

Follow us on:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Charities & Causes, Education, Energy & the Environment, Giving Back, Mentoring, Videos, Views on the News

Profile photo of Greg Lindsay

About Greg Lindsay: Greg Lindsay is a journalist, urbanist, and speaker. He is a contributing writer for Fast Company, author of the forthcoming book Engineering Serendipity, and co-author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next. He is also [...]
View author profile.

Comments are closed.

Skip to toolbar