Eric Weiner: “The Geography of Genius” | Talks at Google

New York Times best-selling author Eric Weiner visited Google’s Mountain View campus to discuss his new book, "The Geography of Genius."

In his previous New York Times bestseller The Geography of Bliss (2008), Eric Weiner searched for the happiest places in the world. Now, in "The Geography of Genius," he sets out to examine the connection between our surroundings and our most innovative ideas.

Weiner writes: “The toddler steps of incremental innovation don’t earn you a patent, or the title of genius. Only a leap does. The question that intrigues someone such as myself, a creature of geography and a student of history, is not simply what these leaps look like but where, and when, they take place… certain places, at certain times, produced a bumper crop of brilliant minds and good ideas. The question is why.”

In an attempt to find the answer, Weiner travels the globe exploring the history of ancient Athens, Song Dynasty Hangzhou, Renaissance Florence, Enlightenment Edinburgh, Calcutta, Vienna of 1900, and today’s Silicon Valley, illustrating how certain urban settings are conducive to ingenuity. With insightful humor, Weiner walks the same paths as the geniuses who flourished in these places, to see if the spirit of what inspired figures like Socrates, Michelangelo, and Mozart still remains.

Along the way, Weiner describes important research about genius…

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