Creative Duets

pairs of people who collaborate to find new ideas and unforeseen opportunities
square-50cm-spacer.jpg Venn Diagram

square-50cm-spacer.jpg Oil Barrels Ten

Singularity v. Difference

  1. The history of industrialisation has tended to highlight critical resources as quantities
    • (e.g. as particular cash crops, money, oil etc.)
  2. They perpetuate the myth that abundance is synonymous with monogeneity and quantity.
    • But no single asset, material or entity has any value on its own.
  3. Abundance can only be created by combining different things appropriately.
  4. Current industrial/economic mindset founded on several moot assumptions:
    • e.g. that mechanical economies of scale can be applied, more or less, in any context (e.g. biological/creative/wellbeing)
      • Scaling up to increase profits is often counterproductive or costly to adjacent organizations/organisms.
      • See concept of Long tail business.


  1. Our primary resource is difference, not quantity (e.g. money, oil etc.).
    • This is an unfamiliar way to see the world.


  1. According to Arthur Koestler (1905-1983) all creative thinking is a combinatorial process.
    • This idea underpins his term ‘bisociation’ (Koestler, 1967) which he claims as a superset of all other creativity tools.
  2. In his method, two, or more, apparently incompatible frames of thought are forced together.
    • By ‘frames’ he means "any ability, habit, or skill, any pattern of ordered behaviour governed by a 'code' of fixed rules".
  3. When this happens, the mind is believed to struggle to make rational connections.
    • Eventually, it makes a creative leap that, if successful, may surprise all of the collaborators.


  1. Bisociation is a combinatorial model, whether it combines things, ideas, viewpoints, or people.
  2. There is, therefore, an interesting parallel between ‘creative innovation’ and sexual reproduction.
    • In both cases, two ‘parent’ factors combine to create a new (i.e. third) outcome that differs from each.
    • Whether in sexual reproduction, or in ‘creative innovation’, successful innovation is difficult to achieve.
    • This is because their success depends on the appropriate alignment of a huge number of complex, usually hidden, or unknown, factors.