In a field cluttered with misinformation, Michael Gelb is an authentic source of practical wisdom for those who seek to develop their creative powers. ~ Murray Gell-Mann
Murray Gell-MannWinner of the Nobel Prize in Physics (1969), Murray Gell-Mann is a unique intellectual powerhouse. In addition to being a theoretical physicist he is also a passionate student of linguistics, cultural evolution, archeology, history, ornithology and the psychology of creative thinking. Gell-Mann is a co-founder and one of the prime movers of the renowned think tank, the Santa Fe Institute.
In March 2011 I had the opportunity to entertain Murray at my home in Santa Fe. We enjoyed some superb wines and a very lively conversation. In 2002 I released a book entitled Discover Your Genius: How to Think Like History’s Ten Most Revolutionary Minds. Murray was curious about who was on my all-time genius roster; so, I gave him the selection criteria and invited him to guess. As you might imagine, he did rather well. And, he had met one of the figures in the book-Albert Einstein. In the course of the evening Murray shared stories of his interactions with Fermi, Feynman, Oppenheimer, and many other great minds.
After we said goodbye I reflected on our conversation and in a blinding flash of the obvious I realized that a marvelous opportunity was at hand. For the last 30 years I’ve studied the workings of great minds and aimed to make their wisdom accessible to you. In studying Leonardo da Vinci I traveled to his birthplace and to the place he died. I read his notebooks and interviewed many of the great da Vinci scholars, including Professor Martin Kemp. In researching Innovate Like Edison I worked closely with Sarah Miller Caldicott, the great-grandniece of Edison and visited the Edison Papers Project at Rutgers where I was able to interview Dr. Paul Israel, the renowned Edison scholar. I also visited many historical sites including his estate in Ft. Myers, Florida and the extraordinary re-creation of his laboratories in Dearborn, Michigan at the Ford Museum.
Of course I obviously wasn’t able to actually meet with and interview either Edison or Leonardo. But, here, in my kitchen, I had just shared some Volnay with a genius who revolutionized our understanding of the nature of the universe.
Since our initial get together, I’ve hosted Murray at a series of dinners to continue our conversation about the nature of the creative process and to explore how, in the words of Leonardo, we can “quicken the spirit of invention.” I’ve invited other passionate creative thinkers, such as Pulitzer-prize winning playwright Sam Shepard and archaeologist and head of the Santa Fe Institute, Dr Jerry Sabloff, to join in the festivities. I’m recording these discussions and will eventually turn them into a book.
Meanwhile, Murray and I have agreed that it would be fruitful, fun, and interesting to share our conversations with others who are interested in a deeper understanding of the nature of creativity and systems thinking. We’ve developed a simple, powerful program for you to take advantage of and participate in this delightful dialogue.
There are several offerings we can make. One option is that during the day I will take your group through the principles for thinking like a genius, and in the late afternoon and evening you will have the opportunity to drink wine and dine with a living genius and discuss how he brings these principles to life. Another option is that we both deliver perspectives on creative thinking and then invite the group into the larger conversation while wining and dining.
You’ll be inspired by the depth and breadth of Murray’s knowledge, his amazing stories of interactions with many of the great minds of the past 80 years, his delightful sense of humor and unrelenting intellectual curiosity.
To arrange a program with Murray and Michael for your organization, Please contact Michael or call 505-438-1181.
View Gell-Mann’s TED talk.