The Medici Effect’s Frans Johansson Presents at EMSTL on the Core of Innovation

Celebrating the re-release of the best-selling The Medici Effect, the book’s author, and Brown Alum, Frans Johansson spoke at the recent EMSTL session in Providence. He explained the core idea behind the book – what happens when you combine diverse concepts, industries, disciplines, and cultures to create groundbreaking ideas and innovations – and its connection to Brown’s excellence in interdisciplinary thinking.


Johansson began by showing how innovation seems like a dark art shrouded in mystery and then demystifies it through examples that expose the creative crash of difference at the core of change. Logic and expertise are critical ingredients to progress, explained Johannson, but, it’s a capacity available to all. In an environment where the rules are always changing, applying more of the same, won’t give you the competitive edge to breakthrough norms.

That’s why Tesla made it’s IP open source, Johansson continued. Their goal is to continue to change the rules so why not share technology that you know will soon be obsolete.

In the course of the talk, Johansson discussed the book’s formula for creating a Renaissance environment in the workplace. Examples included: take advantage of the exponentially expanding workforce from across the globe and expand your network beyond people who look and sound like yourself.

He concluded by advising students to soak up the Medici Effect baked into Brown’s interdisciplinary DNA and the EMSTL curriculum. “The world is connected,” said Johannson. “Someone made these connections. I think it should be you.”

Learn more about the Medici Effect.

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