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Your next great idea might be hiding in this list

Ideas come from unexpected places. That’s why when I was recently asked to put together a “reading list” to share with station representatives for a conference, I was excited to curate a broad collection. I’ve found it can be useful to look just beyond the boundaries of your everyday tasks for resources that both inspire and inform.

These articles, books, videos and podcasts capture just a few of the things NPR Digital is thinking about right now.


5 proposed areas of focus for mobile innovation in news, Sarah Schmalbach, Medium

Innovation isn’t an idea problem, David Burkus, Harvard Business Review

The secret phrase top innovators use, Warren Berger, Harvard Business Review

What is disruptive innovation?, Clayton Christensen, Michael E. Raynor and Rory McDonald, Harvard Business Review

The ‘Goldilocks Effect’ and how to harness social influence, First Round Review

The millennial who’s disrupting disruption, Virginia Heffernan, The Message

Creative Confidence (book), Tom Kelley and David Kelley


Creativity in the age of robots (video), Neil Stevenson, IDEO

Why learning is the only skill that matters (podcast), Becoming Superhuman

Creativity and design

Austin Kleon on 10 things every creative person should remember but we often forget, Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

The effortless effort of creativity, Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

To build great products, build this strong, scalable system first, First Round Review

The conversation of design: Why storytelling is essential to people, partners and possibility, John Won, IDEO

Design without a design team, Sean McBride

Why good storytelling helps you design great products, Braden Kowitz, Google Ventures

Design for Real Life (book), Sara Wachter-­Boettcher and Eric Meyer

The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design (kit), IDEO

Platforms and collaboration

Bioregions: Notes on a design agenda, John Thackara

The ecosystem equation: Collaboration in the connected economy, IBM

It takes a network to tackle growth and complexity, R. Patrick Bixler, Clare Zutz and Ashley Lovell, Stanford Social Innovation Review

Many ways to many, Joe McCannon, M. Rashad Massoud and Abigail Zier Alyesh, Stanford Social Innovation Review

Learning to be inconspicuous, John Collery, IDEO

A new way to listen, Indi Young, A List Apart

Self-driving cars are not ‘five years away,’ John Battelle, NewCo Shift

Stanford Social Innovation Review (magazine)

Liz Danzico is NPR's vice president of design.