Start learning all about the key skill for the 21st century

Jan van Essen
Aug 4 · 6 min read
Photo by Victor Rodriguez on Unsplash

Imagine: How Creativity Works

Jonah Lehrer

From the New York Times best-selling author of How We Decidecomes a sparkling and revelatory look at the new science of creativity. Shattering the myth of muses, higher powers, even creative “types,” Jonah Lehrer demonstrates that creativity is not a single gift possessed by the lucky few. It’s a variety of distinct thought processes that we can all learn to use more effectively.


An Audience of One

by Srinivas Rao

The creator of the Unmistakable Creative podcast makes a counterintuitive argument: By focusing your creative work on pleasing yourself, you can increase your productivity, happiness, and (eventually, paradoxically) the size of your audience.


21 Insights for 21st Century Creatives

by Mark McGuinness

Insights to help you thrive as a creator amid the demands, distractions, and opportunities of the 21st century. Mark McGuinness has spent 21 years coaching creative professionals to achieve their artistic and career ambitions.


Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World

by Adam M. Grant

In Originals the author addresses the challenge of improving the world from the perspective of becoming original: choosing to champion novel ideas and values that go against the grain, battle conformity, and buck outdated traditions. How can we originate new ideas, policies, and practices without risking it all?


Origin of Ideas: Blending, Creativity, and the Human Spark

by Mark Turner

What makes human beings so innovative, so adept at rapid, creative thinking? Where do new ideas come from, and once we have them, how can we carry them mentally into new situations? What allows our thinking to range easily over time, space, causation, and agency-so easily that we take this truly remarkable ability for granted?


The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life

by Twyla Tharp

Creativity is not a gift from the gods, says Twyla Tharp, bestowed by some divine and mystical spark. It is the product of preparation and effort, and it’s within reach of everyone who wants to achieve it. All it takes is the willingness to make creativity a habit, an integral part of your life: In order to be creative, you have to know how to prepare to be creative.


Creative Intelligence

by Bruce Nussbaum

The world is quickly changing in ways we find hard to comprehend. Successful methods of dealing with problems have become outmoded. To be successful, you can’t just be good. You also need to be creative. In Creative Intelligence, innovation expert Bruce Nussbaum charts the making of a new literacy, Creative Intelligence, or CQ.


Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

by Ed Catmull, Amy Wallace

From Ed Catmull, co-founder (with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter) of Pixar Animation Studios, comes an incisive book about creativity in business — sure to appeal to readers of Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, and Chip and Dan Heath. Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation — into the meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made.


Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

by Austin Kleon

“You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself. That’s the message from Austin Kleon, a young writer and artist who knows that creativity is everywhere, creativity is for everyone. A manifesto for the digital age, Steal Like an Artist is a guide whose positive message, graphic look and illustrations, exercises, and examples will put readers directly in touch with their artistic side.”


Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered

by Austin Kleon

In his New York Times bestseller Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon showed readers how to unlock their creativity by “stealing” from the community of other movers and shakers. Now, in an even more forward-thinking and necessary book, he shows how to take that critical next step on a creative journey — getting known.


Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All

by Tom Kelley, David Kelley

IDEO founder and Stanford d.school creator David Kelley and his brother Tom Kelley, IDEO partner and the author of the bestselling The Art of Innovation, have written a powerful and compelling book on unleashing the creativity that lies within each and every one of us.


Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention

by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Creativity is about capturing those moments that make life worth living. The author’s objective is to offer an understanding of what leads to these moments, be it the excitement of the artist at the easel or the scientist in the lab, so that knowledge can be used to enrich people’s lives.


A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future

by Daniel H. Pink

The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: artists, inventors, storytellers-creative and holistic “right-brain” thinkers whose abilities mark the fault line between who gets ahead and who doesn’t.


Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation

by Steven Johnson

The printing press, the pencil, the flush toilet, the battery — these are all great ideas. But where do they come from? What kind of environment breeds them? What sparks the flash of brilliance? How do we generate the breakthrough technologies that push forward our lives, our society, our culture? Steven Johnson’s answers are revelatory as he identifies the seven key patterns behind genuine innovation, and traces them across time and disciplines.


Just the beginning

Stay tuned, more in-depth resources coming soon! Follow my publication for regular updates on the key skill for the 21st century.

Innovator Stories

How to build the future? Stories about impact innovators reshaping the way we live. Lessons and insights from creative minds tackling the challenges of our time. Tools and frameworks to build products that matter. Get inspired and start your own journey!

Jan van Essen

Written by

How to build the future? Impact stories for Health & Sustainability · Innovation for Good · Rethinking the way we live · Deep Learning & Tech Strategist

Innovator Stories

How to build the future? Stories about impact innovators reshaping the way we live. Lessons and insights from creative minds tackling the challenges of our time. Tools and frameworks to build products that matter. Get inspired and start your own journey!

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