This book is for anyone in any organization, ranging from the CEO to anyone who is responsible for addressing and solving creative business challenges and looking for innovative solutions to make a better tomorrow.
There is perhaps no better time than what we are going through for a book on creativity and innovation. The global experience of the pandemic calls into question the models and certainties of our social organizations and economic systems and therefore questions our ability to imagine, introduce and manage change.
At the same time, Dr. Rashid Alleem’s book is a tribute to the spirit of the United Arab Emirates and to that constant and genuine tension of the leadership and of the whole society of this young country towards the future, without fear of questioning consolidated schemes or of setting ambitious goals. What other country, after all, has a space program that plans to establish the first human settlement on Mars in 2117 (after launching the first probe towards the Red Planet in the last weeks)?
Creativity, as the author teaches, is unprecedented perception, intuition, original thought in all its forms; different from a flash or an isolated point, it is also part of a defining process, the analysis and synthesis of things. Inseparable from the impetus, creativity pushes to intervene effectively on reality without being afraid of the associated risk. However, creativity is not enough on its own: alongside purpose and commitment, the executive moment cannot indeed be missing, supported by persevering will, research and organization. Therefore, creativity and innovation, marks of the future, are constantly reminiscent of each other, and to cultivate one is to empower the other whether it is art, design or any kind of entrepreneurial endeavor.
In this inseparable pair, creativity is a priority; it is guide and lifeblood to the innovative solution. For this reason, Fostering Creativity and Innovation insists on it in a special way by pointing out the need for a real culture of creativity, an educational path that accompanies the individual in the rediscovery of childhood personality, of play and joy, of curiosity and exploration, and of imagination, independent and free.
However, there is another aspect that the author stresses and that I find crucial: the link between the process of creation-innovation and connection, which is the essence of our humanity as intelligent creatures (intelligence means precisely “ability to connect”). Connection between things, between concepts, between areas of knowledge, as a genius like Leonardo da Vinci, quoted by the author, shows; but also among individuals, people and cultures. Connection, I add, that requires physical interaction, sharing of spaces and sensory experiences, which technology can temporarily make up for (as we see in these times of physical distancing), but which it can never replace with virtual relationships.
If it is true, therefore, that without creation there is no innovation; it is also true that without connection there is no creation. And when the world meets in the UAE next year for EXPO2020 Dubai, which will probably be the first global event after the pandemic, the theme “Connecting minds, creating the future” will prove to be the most appropriate one.
Ambassador of Italy to the UAE