Christian Long

Charles Leadbeater: Innovation

In TED Talks on April 11, 2010 at 11:01 pm

Reflection by AMBER W.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Charles Leadbeather:  Innovation

Everything said here is wonderfully spoken by Charles Leadbeater in his talk on innovation which I highly recommend as one of my favourite TED talk videos.  Make sure you check it out before reading this.

Personally, I want to applaud Charles Leadbeater on his fantastic TED talk on innovation.

Beginning his speech with mountain bikes and the response by crowds of people calling them “clunkers” was an incredible introduction to everything he explained. How many ideas are known as clunkers today? There are so many great ideas out there but some people don’t take the initiative to produce these great ideas whether it be through music, inventions, art, anything really. Quoting Leadbeater, “You don’t need an organization to be organized, to achieve large complex tasks.” and is it not true that society does indeed have a traditional view of creativity coinciding with ‘special’ people? All these ‘special’ people have is motivation towards accomplishing their goal, they are no different than anyone else. What makes these people different from large company owners is that they want to innovate no matter what others may think. They have dreams and goals and nothing will stop them from accomplishing them.

Charles Leadbeater gives listeners brilliant examples with every point he makes and the entertainment industry is another perfect example. Within the past 20 years, the entertainment industry has been completely transformed. Some of the songs on the radio and shows on the television would have never come about. Yet, this is what the public wants and once society has it, they transform themselves into thinking this is what the world needs to be like and innovation is degraded. Like Charles Leadbeater says, “creativity is highly collaborative.” But this collaborative creativity can be harmful. Isn’t there a point when creativity needs to be restricted?

Lastly, I would like to bring up Leadbeater’s ideas on consumer-driven innovation. After hearing the opinions Charles Leadbeater has to offer, he really made me think about how much truth is in his statements. Everyone has opinions and everyone wants to express their opinions towards certain subjects. When a famous celebrity suddenly becomes involved in a scandal what do gossip columns and bloggers do? They express their opinions openly, most of the time anticipating a response. All they want is to express their views whether it be good or bad and for a variety of reasons.

Charles Leadbeater couldn’t have ended his talk better, “society is multiplying our productive resources but turning users into producers and consumers into designers.”


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