Staff Seminar

Creativity 2.0: Accessing the Genius Within - Natalia Trofimenko

14 Nov 2017

Institut für Weltwirtschaft


Natalia Trofimenko


Our current knowledge about creativity and genius has brought us as far as it could. In practice, both creativity and genius remain a scarce good, fairly randomly distributed and, where trainable, with disappointing results. Partially this is explained by the approach to training and developing both: we attempt to find a cookie cut approach to the phenomena that are inherently highly individualized, unpredictable, and escape understanding through rational mind. Moreover, the methods are being developed by people who may understand these phenomena theoretically but do not have personal, experiential knowing of them and they are being taught by those who are unable to adjust generalized methods to the individual needs, be it for lack of skill or time. Even a study of the accounts of creative people cannot deliver reliable knowledge: exceptional self-awareness is required to capture one’s own creative process, downright mystical skills would be needed to even attempt to understand it. In reality we are not creating, we are co-creating and personal knowledge of these seen and unseen “cooperative forces” would be required, so in addition to the knowledge of self, one would need an uncanny understanding of people and one’s surroundings.
For the most part, in academic research not only do we get to study a limited set of creative people, but we also get to analyze their own very crude approximations of their process. I propose to experience these phenomena personally before attempting to study them. In this presentation I introduce new definitions of genius and creativity, give an overview of how these may be induced, and demonstrate a few easy ways of triggering the process of “receiving insights”, simply to give people an experience of what it is like to be “overwhelmed” with insight. I also show a few easy methods to track those insights, to sharpen one’s awareness for new things. The problem is not that we do not have great ideas often. The problem is that they pass us unnoticed and unappreciated.
I also introduce the idea of a Creativity Atelier. Our mind is like a rubber band. A single trigger can induce it to stretch itself and show some bang but it will return to its previous state when the person is placed back into the environment that has been shaping him in the first place. Though a mind once stretched is never quite the same, a certain consistency, attention, increasing intensity of “training”, and a community of people pursuing a similar goal are required to ensure lasting and reliable results.


Medienraum (A-211)