Medici effect and Innovation

In early 14th century, administration of Florence was in hands of few rich merchants; of these Medici family was prominent. Generosity of Medici family esp. Giovanni, Cosimo and Lorenzo helped artists, painters, architects to give their best. Their support for art, architecture & scholarship brought together some of the top painters, architects, philosophers etc. of that age ex. Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo etc.
Cross fertilization of ideas from different fields gave birth to “Renaissance”.


Frans Johansson calls this cross-fertilization of ideas “The Medici Effect”, after Medici family, since their patronage helped in breaking down traditional barriers separating disciplines and cultures to ignite the Renaissance.


Such cross fertilization of different disciplines gives birth to interesting innovations.

Architect Mick Pearce used biomimetic architecture to design a building in Harare, Zimbabwe which remains cools without air conditioning; idea came from ant hill of African termites!

ant hill

Richard Channing Garfield is a mathematician, he decided to design a game by combining ideas of collecting baseball cards with a card game, and the game was called Magic: The Gathering, which was a big hit.


Kassahun Tsegie was an Ethiopian orphan, who was adopted by a Swedish family; his name was changed to Marcus Samuelsson. He developed interest in cooking and started combining traditional Swedish cuisine with ingredients/dishes from other nations. His dishes are a big hit.


Excerpt from Wall Street Journal
“Mr. Obama continued his foray into ethnogastropolitics by engaging New York-based, Ethiopian-Swedish chef Marcus Samuelsson to cook the administration’s first state dinner, an Indian-fusion meal for the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Old Washington hands muttered about the wisdom of serving a visiting envoy the food of his own country, but I’m guessing that not a word of complaint percolated inside the Beltway after guests tasted Mr. Samuelsson’s vegetarian menu, which included roasted potato dumplings with tomato chutney, chickpeas and okra or green curry prawns, caramelized salsify with smoked collard greens and coconut-aged basmati rice.”

Can HR come up with some innovations resulting from cross pollination with other disciplines?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s