On Being hosts internet entrepreneur Seth Godin:

On the Art of Noticing and Then Creating

Choose between Krista Tippett’s edited and unedited audio conversation with Seth about the responsibilities of creation—”being artists rather than cogs”; the risks inherent to contemporary change; and how conventional education doesn’t yet prepare students for the creative and less bounded age in which they’re living. From the unedited version:

KT: In every discipline we can think of, whether it’s education or business or how we structure workplaces or even government, churches, religious organizations—the old forms have stopped working, but we still really don’t have any kind of picture of what the new forms [will look like]; we’re creating them in real time.

SG: My great-grandfather, before he lost everything in the crash of 1929, was a pretty successful guy, and they actually asked him and his peers, “What should school do? You guys are all the successful barons of industry: what should school do?” And we built school to make those guys happy, to create the factory workers that they needed. Because school was being built and they got to pick.

But if we sat down with the successful people of today, our community leaders and our corporate leaders et cetera and said “What should school do?” none of them would say “Let’s make it so that people are more obedient and better at memorizing facts.” But that’s what we still do at school. And what we’re seeing is that most people who are making an impact, the Sarah Joneses of the world, the Jacqueline Novogratzes of the world, they’re doing it despite what they learned in school, not because of what they learned in school…

And if I sit down with a bunch of 7th graders or 1st graders and tell them to brainstorm or raise their hand or innovate or make something, they find it way easier than when I sit down with a bunch of college students. Because the college students are afraid of being wrong. …We spend 15 years training people to be afraid of being wrong.

Tippett and Godin also talk about artistic tribes of “strangers like us”—voluntary networks that congregate around shared memes, goals, and motivations. This contemporary tribalism, Godin argues, can be positive but the choice to nurture its positive forms is entirely ours.

The difference between the two podcasts is about 36 minutes. Transcript and further reading also available.


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