5 great podcasts for innovators

Innovators are curious and are always looking for new facts and insights. Books and podcasts are a great source of innovation-inspiration. Here are 5 great podcasts for innovators.

Inspiration is important for innovators. New insights fuel innovation. Making new combinations and using clever approaches from elsewhere is what leads to creative solutions. Therefore, it’s a good idea to stay curious and keep consuming new information.

While there is a lot of information out there about innovation and creativity (on this website alone you can find hundreds of articles), it is equally -if not more- important to stock up on a variety of knowledge that is not innovation-related. Not directly, at least. While it is essential to know the ‘rules’ of creativity and the processes that will help you develop successful innovations, you also need ‘random’ information to fuel your innovation process.

Creativity is all about making new combinations. A creative solution is always a combination of elements that already existed, but that are brought together in a new context. You can combine ideas, techniques, materials or processes. The more unexpected the combination, the more creative the idea usually is. The best solutions therefore are often inspired by something that was found in an entirely unrelated field. But to be able to make these new combinations, you must know about a wide variety of topics. Only if you know what’s out there you’ll be able to combine elements into something truly creative. It is no coincidence that one of the greatest creative minds in history, Leonardo da Vinci, was relentlessly curious. He carried his notebooks everywhere and studied not only painting techniques, but also topics like zoology, engineering, geology, geometry, anatomy and the flow of water. By combining his knowledge about these fields, he managed to revolutionize multiple fields.

Books and articles are great ways to keep filling your brain with useful information, but so are podcasts. Both are great ways to expand your knowledge and fill your head with unexpected inspiration. Podcasts have a distinct advantage over books, however; you can easily listen to podcasts while doing other tasks. You get to listen to podcasts in moments you would otherwise have lost: while doing dishes, commuting, exercising, cleaning your house etc.

5 great podcasts for innovators

Here are some of my favourite podcasts on a variety of topics that won’t fail to inspire you. These are not podcasts about innovation or creativity. Still, I believe the podcasts below are equally, and probably more useful if you’re looking for creative solutions. These podcasts have one thing in common: they’ll provide you with many new (and often surprising) insights.

99% invisible

A wonderful podcast on the design that is all around us, but that you usually won’t pay attention to. Or, as the makers say it themselves: “99% Invisible is about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world.

Curious about the ‘war on raccoons’ in Toronto, why illustrated dinosaurs all look like they went to the gym or how you could design a better hospital? Check out this podcast.

No such thing as a fish

This weekly podcast is sure to amaze you with unbelievable facts. Every week, the researchers behind the BBC show QI share the most insane facts they uncovered within the previous 7 days. Hilarious and informative at the same time.

Curious why farmers in Botswana paint eyes on cows bottoms, why sliced bread was banned in the USA or why NASA needed inflatable owls? Listen to the crazy conversations Andy, Anna, Dan and James have about ridiculous true facts.

The Tim Ferriss Show

Repeatedly named the #1 business podcast, with over 500 million downloads and counting, the Tim Ferriss Show is probably the most well-known podcast in this little list. In his show, Tim Ferriss deconstructs world-class performers “to extract the tactics, tools, and routines you can use.” Some of the guests that he interviews on his show are Tony Robbins, Esther Perel, Hugh Jackman, Kevin Kelly, Neil deGrasse Tyson and many many more.

Each episode is guaranteed to give you at least one great insight you can use.

Books of Titans

In each episode, Erik Rostad and Jason Staples discuss one influential book. Inspired by the book-recommendations in Tools of Titans, the hosts discuss what they thought about the book, what their favourite quotes are and what lessons struck them. It’s not just business books that are discussed. You’ll hear the hosts talk about books on topics like history, philosophy, marketing, psychology, anthropology and even fiction. Great for some quick lessons and for assessing which books are worth your time.

This American Life

This American Life is a weekly radio program and podcast. Each episode consists of stories centred around one topic. You can expect well-told stories on a variety of topics. Interesting and often insightful.

 

Listening to one or more of these podcasts will supply you with a steady stream of new insights and ideas. Use the list above to stock up on inspiration. Who knows what creative solution you’ll come up with next!

 

These five podcasts are, of course, only a small sample of the thousands of podcasts available. What are your favourite shows for new inspiration? I’d love to hear your recommendations in the comment box below!

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