Innovation + “time off”
The above video, a talk from TED by designer Stefan Sagmeister about “the power of time off,” is not really about green innovation at all. It’s a stretch, perhaps, to include it here in these pages, where we focus on exciting green ideas and trends. But the parallel Sagmeister draws, between innovation and “time off,” is a fascinating one, and it’s sparked a series of conversations here about the role of new experiences and new surroundings in inspiring new ideas.
Every seven years, Sagmeister closes his New York studio for a yearlong sabbatical to rejuvenate and refresh his creative outlook. As he explains in the video, he saw the conventional career timeline- working until one’s sixties, then retiring- and wondered how his work (and career) would benefit if he took seven of those retirement years and took one year off every seven years during his career.
As he points out, there are some compelling examples of successful (and, importantly, innovative) companies that value “time off” as a key part of their creative process. 3M and Google offer their engineers 15% and 20% “personal use” time respectively.
For more on Sagmeister and his “time off” theory, check out the piece on TED.