I have been invited to give a talk on the topic of genius on Friday, August 18th. The talk is part of a series of monthly events organized by a group known as the Cleveland chapter of Creative Mornings. It is a global program with chapters in cities all over the world and each month all chapters feature programs on a single theme and this month it is genius. You can learn more about the event here and on Facebook and on this month’s theme here.
The Cleveland chapter programs use a different location each month and my talk will be in the lovely Eastman Reading Garden of the Cleveland Public Library, a magnificent institution in downtown Cleveland. It is free and open to all. Breakfast is provided at 8:30am, my interactive talk and Q/A begins at around 9:00am, and the program wraps up at 9:50am.
I was surprised to learn that they usually get a crowd of over a hundred people for these weekday morning events. And these are not retired people either, the majority of them being in the 30-45 age group.
I can share the punch line of my talk here and that is that I do not think that ‘genius’ is a useful concept since it is so hard to pin down. It may even be harmful since it gives undue credence to the idea that cognitive abilities are largely genetic and thus it makes people far too quickly decide that there are some things that are not even worth attempting because they were not born with that ability.