What’s Your Adjacent Possible?

September 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Steven Johnson, author of books like Emergence and Where Good Ideas Come From, just introduced me to the concept of “adjacent possible” (he in turn credits scientist Stuart Kauffman).  I thought it a perfect compliment to my post on reclaiming the impossible.

“When humans started walking upright it opened up the adjacent possible for more complex tool use because our hands were freed up.”

Our adjacent possible is larger than it has ever been.  So what are you going to do about it?

You probably have a diversity of interests; Johnson invites you to nurture different ones.

“Unlocking new doors in the adjacent possible often comes out of making new connections between seemingly unrelated fields.”

Ours is a new age of enlightenment, you are called to be the renaissance person that you have always wanted to be.

While you do that, here is something I’d like to do with my colleagues here at IISC – let’s design and facilitate conversations among people engaged in a diversity of fields, let’s open up new doors to the adjacent possible.

NOTE:  Steven Johnson’s essay “Genius is in the Margins of Your Attention” is part of a brilliant collection of essays by 61 of today’s luminaries – End MalariaBUY IT and save a life.

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