Social networks underpin creativity

We often have in our head the stereotype of the brilliant but solitary artist or writer who cannot, or will not, work with anyone else but is this the whole story on creativity and innovation?


Sure there are those who fit this mould but New Scientist’s special issue on creativity (29 October 2005) quotes Professor Vera John-Steiner author of Creative Collaboration that to be really creative:

“you need strong social networks and trusting relationships…and at least one other person in your life who doesn’t think you are completely nuts”

This brought my attention back to the article Social networking and relationship ecosystems and the excellent example of how Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets, carefully cultivated his own personal ecosystem of relationships each of whom had different roles in the overall creative process.

So creative innovation needs social networks not just neural networks!

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A social network is a social structure made of nodes that are tied by one or more specific types of interdependency such as values, visions, ideas, financial exchange, friendship, kinship, dislike, conflict or trade.
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