Cusp of the Second Renaissance: Thoughts on Chapter 7 of Ken Robinson’s Out of Our Minds

“All technologies are neutral.We are on the cusp of another rebirth of human knowledge and creativity. Let’s go so far to call it the Second Renaissance. Such a perspective invites appreciation for the time and age we’re living in.

While the origins of the first Renaissance in late 13th century Florence are debatable, the common consensus includes: interest in the world of emotion and expression, pools of money funding pools of talent, advancements in the arts, and the introduction of new technology designed to mass distribute knowledge.

While the Renaissance was fueled by the printing press, the current Renaissance is fueled by the computer. Or is that the smart phone? Or maybe the wearable technology that we’ll be enjoying ten years from now wondering how did we live before it?

Robinson makes a distinction between the aim of science and artists. Science seeks to explain why things happen the way they do. Artists seek to describe and ascribe meaning to the inner and outer world. But both paths require creativity in conducting experiments in order to put together the next project.

The paths of both explanation and description are becoming more and more intertwined. The exploration of emotion and the impact of emotion on performance, combines the descriptive work of an artist with the action steps of science. Coaching doesn’t spend time in the past looking at reasons. That kind of query is what psychologists do. Even positive psychologists are searching for a theory of human behavior that also includes positive elements.

One way to look at coaching is to imagine that you are the actor in a movie that exactly matches the life circumstances. From this point forward, what would you want your movie to be?

Such a question takes a great deal of inner work and courage to answer, but that’s the client’s and the coach’s work to explore.

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