I have nearly finished the book The Medici Effect by Frans Johansson. It’s a very easy to read business book on ‘intersectional’ innovation and is full of great examples which are very relevant to a lot of the work we do at NESTA Connect.
In particular it has some very simple descriptions of why the intersection of fields are more innovative (because of the exponential increase in possible combintions of ideas), the importance of specialism verses generalists (both needed of course), and the sorts of skills and metrics that help and hinder these approaches (punish inaction not failure, and the section on incentives and motivation is very relevant but I won’t go into it here).
The whole field of interdisciplinary collaboration/research is much talked about, especially in academic circles, but in my view has become too wooly and nebulous to really impact on our institutions. Therefore, I welcome the almost brutally simple approach the author takes to explaining why intersections are important and how they can be created.