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Cover of Creativity in Large-Scale Contexts by Jonathan S. Feinstein
Creativity in Large-Scale Contexts
Guiding Creative Engagement and Exploration
Jonathan S. Feinstein


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November 2023
416 pages.
$35.00

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Hardcover ISBN: 9781503632813
Ebook ISBN: 9781503637153

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A new model for smarter creativity

Innovators and creators work in cultural, economic, and social contexts that shape their work. These contexts are large-scale, filled with overwhelming multitudes of elements and possibilities—but these contexts can be fruitfully "mined" by creative teams. Creativity in Large-Scale Contexts, by Yale professor Jonathan S. Feinstein, introduces a groundbreaking new "network model" to describe how successful innovation can be focused, generated, and accelerated. The book will help teams and organizations innovate smarter and faster.

Feinstein argues that in large-scale contexts creativity happens most efficiently when it is actively "guided" by a creative leader or team. Guiding creativity involves understanding, navigating, and actively using the cultural context, identifying puzzles and opportunities, and spanning these tensions to create novel connections. With thoughtful guidance, creators and creative teams can find their way through the thicket of possibilities faster, smarter, and with less waste.

Creativity in Large-Scale Contexts draws on case studies of famous creators including Virginia Woolf, Albert Einstein, Indigenous artist Clifford Possum, transgender activist and engineer Lynn Conway, and Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey. Empirically grounded, this book will be essential for teaching and managing creativity and innovation and will open new avenues for future intellectual growth and practice in the field.

About the author

Jonathan S. Feinstein is the John G. Searle Professor of Economics and Management at the Yale School of Management. His creativity class, which he has been teaching for more than twenty years, has enriched the lives of many Yale students. He also lectures and leads workshops on creativity. Feinstein is the author of The Nature of Creative Development (Stanford, 2006). He lives in New Haven and enjoys painting, swimming, walking, great books, and dark chocolate.

"Creativity in Large-Scale Contexts shows the foundational importance of cultural, social, and economic context in the overall creative journey. Featuring individuals like Virginia Woolf—an icon of creative innovation for her pioneering of stream of consciousness narrative—and other worthy examples, this book is a must-read for those interested in how context creates (or inhibits) the playing field for creativity."

—David E. Salzman, Chief Executive, Warner Bros. and Lorimar-Telepictures

"Jonathan S. Feinstein's book will inspire a new generation of innovative thinkers with its revolutionary approach to large-scale creativity. It offers a deep understanding of the role of context to drive successful outcomes in the creative process."

—Robert Simonds, Founder and Chairman, STX Entertainment

"Feinstein builds on decades of research from the field of creativity with a fresh take on environment, or context, as an essential element of the creative process. His case studies from eminent creators deepen the reading experience. His insights will spur future large-scale creative endeavors."

—Kathyrn P. Haydon, author of The Non-Obvious Guide to Being More Creative and Creativity for Everybody

"Creativity in Large-Scale Contexts helps us appreciate individuality and the surprise of creative outcomes and achievements. This volume will be of interest to anyone interested in the fulfillment of creative potentials."

—Mark A. Runco, Director of Creativity Research and Programming, Southern Oregon University

"Jonathan S. Feinstein addresses a significant but neglected topic in creativity studies: the place of large-scale context in innovation. An eclectic blend of theory and empirical studies drawn from art, literature, science, and technology, this book is an important and original contribution to our evolving understanding of creativity."

—Subrata Dasgupta, author of The Renaissance Considered as a Creative Phenomenon