What makes one place a source of endless creativity and genius and another lacking dynamic energy? Author Eric Weiner and his book The Geography of Genius, A search for the world’s most creative places, believes that while there is no simple formula, patterns do exist that can help increase an environment’s opportunity to foster creativity. 

During his research of historical analogs, Mr. Weiner found that the most unique places/times of creativity throughout history – think times and places like modern day Silicon Valley, Ancient Athens, Renaissance Florence and the Song Dynasty’s Hangchou - all had certain ingredients in play: 1) insider-outsiders, 2) free flow of information, 3) competition that creates clear winners and losers, 4) internal myths and beliefs (even those that are false) that honor forward thinking, 5) a lack of fear of borrowing or stealing ideas in order to make them better and 6) problematic obstacles that individuals need to push against.  

Which of those elements does your environment (at either work or home) have today? Is there a way you could add one more aspect to the list? Doing so may not guarantee success, but those of us in creative fields know that inspiration can often come from the places you least expect. 

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