Engineering Serendipity

Innovation is fundamentally social. Study after study has shown that the best ideas are more likely to arise from a casual chat around the water cooler or coffee shop than any scheduled meeting. They’re the result of serendipity – a chance encounter at the right time by the right people, regardless of rank and affiliation. Serendipity is also what makes cities great (and so productive). Should we be managing for serendipity instead? And if so, what comes after the office? How can we create smarter cities through social networks, more open workplaces, and better public spaces?

Speaker Details

Greg Lindsay is a journalist, urbanist, futurist, and speaker. He is a contributing writer for Fast Company, author of the forthcoming book Engineering Serendipity, and co-author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next. He is also a non-resident senior fellow of The Atlantic Council’s Strategic Foresight Initiative, a visiting scholar at New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management, and a senior fellow of the World Policy Institute. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Harvard Business Review, The Financial Times, and McKinsey Quarterly, among many other publications. He has advised Intel, Audi, Ericsson, Samsung, André Balazs Properties, and Chrysler. His work with Studio Gang Architects on the future of suburbia was displayed at MoMA in 2012. Greg is also a two-time Jeopardy! champion (and the only human to go undefeated against IBM’s Watson).

Greg Lindsay
New York University and World Policy Institute
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Series: Microsoft Research Talks