Ever wonder why the Renaissance, was well… a renaissance?
I think two things shaped this era. The first being financial support of painters, sculptors, scientists, poets, philosophers and architects by powerful families like the Medici. Leonardo da Vinci lived the last three years of his life at Chateau Clois Luce in Amboise, France at the invitation of King Francis I. Leonardo lived in an elegant and inspiring environment without worry of expense. The King found great value in supporting his pure genius. The King also liked the perk of using a secret passageway from his castle to visit Leonardo as he found great inspiration just listening to him talk and share ideas.
The second was the collaboration between artists, philosophers and scientists, a sort of intellectual cross-pollination, of the time. Fascinated by the ideals of ancient Greece, Cosimo Medici had the works of Plato translated and formed the Platonic Academy of Florence. This informal group engaged in lively philosophic discussions and influenced the creativity of the age.
Today, we work in our industries, our bubbles, and within our cultures with little cross-pollination. It is important to know your business, but it is also important to understand the ideas and trends across the diversity of cultures and industries.
One great resource for this kind of collaboration is TED. Not a person, but a conference started in 1984, which annually attracts the elite in technology, entertainment and academia. According to a recent article in Fast Company, the founder Richard Saul Wurman said, “I just wanted to throw the world’s best dinner party.” The real story though is what TED has become. Today it’s an online academy of thought provoking ideas. It’s place where anyone can participate in the sharing of ideas by watching and absorbing one or many of over 700 presentations.
Break out of your bubble. Start watching. Start sharing. Start supporting.
Start a new renaissance.