← Fostering scenius

Kevin Kelly and Packy McCormick have both written about this idea of the “scenius”. The idea that the lone genius is a false myth and that the greats were surrounded by a scene (hence the pun) which made them great.

This has got me thinking too about what exactly it is you need to create a scenius & can they even be conjured up in the first place? A rough analogy is that I think it’s a bit like writing. People have all these creative and wild ideas they want to pursue, but until they’re given an outlet, they’ll never even realize that was there. The analogy in writing for me is that I don’t realize I have ideas either or that there’s something to be found until I start searching by putting words on a screen.

As I’ve hosted presentation nights this year, let’s see if I’ve learned anything. What would I tell myself if I could go back to improve how these are planned?

Vibes are everything

I think setting the correct vibe is do-or-die for whether a scenius survives. There has to be this camaraderie and internal urge to push each other on. To me, it also feels important to avoid a complete sausage-fest or STEM takeover, but that’s something I have to work on myself, so no tips on that. If anything, I’d say it’s important to have at least one very close friend in outside circles who are able to bring diversity to these events until it is self generating.

Minimal bounds

Like living computation which I’ve been thinking a lot about, I think a big part of allowing for open-ended creativity is by setting the minimum bounds possible while ensuring that people must breach new ground. For most, this is a strict no work or school allowed, but is that rule all that is needed? Are both of those truly needed?