Scott Burnham — On Resourcefulness, Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone, And Discovering New Ideas That Can Change Your Life

Home Podcast Scott Burnham — On Resourcefulness, Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone, And Discovering New Ideas That Can Change Your Life

Scott Burnham — On Resourcefulness, Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone, And Discovering New Ideas That Can Change Your Life

Scott Burnham is an author, entrepreneur, and consultant who provides companies, cities, and individuals with strategies and tools for resourceful innovation, showing how to respond to limited resources with an abundance of creativity.

He’s the founder of various global initiatives like Reprogramming the City, NatureStructure, Urban Play, and more, each of which is guided by the underlying philosophy to make cities and habitats more resourceful by reimagining the use of existing assets. He has curated over 30 exhibitions in eight nations, addressed renowned entities like The World Bank and The  World Urban Development Congress, and written a number of books on how resourcefulness can improve the quality of our surroundings and our own lives.

In this episode, we discuss how the pandemic has made us more resilient and creative, how simple solutions have solved seemingly impossible problems, how to communicate ideas in ways that get people fired up, and more.

You can read the transcript of the episode here.

Let’s dive in.

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Scott Burnham website
Scott on LinkedIn
Scott’s books on Amazon
The Scrivener app
Swedish town introduces light therapy to bus shelters
Boston Society for Architecture
Design og arkitektur Norge (DOGA, Norway)
Revenge Spending
The Suez Canal crisis
The Prevention of Mindlessness (The Harvard Rubberband Study)
Two Words That Can Inspire Entrepreneurs To Greatness
A Billboard That Condenses Water From Humidity
No Wi-Fi? No problem when the solution is parking a school bus outside a rural neighborhood
Puzzle Business Goes ‘Bonkers’ As People Seek Pandemic Pastimes At Home
If You Want To Be Proactive, You Need Downtime

Episode Highlights

(02:10) The RoI (Return on Investment) of pursuing a single idea rather than multitasking.
(05:51) How journalism trained him to sharpen his focus and enhance his productivity.
(08:25) The flipside of not being active on social media.
(12:22) Why many people are prone to distractions and multi-tasking.
(13:02) Simple daily activities to discover your passion.
(15:12) What is Scott’s passion?
(17:59) How his father molded his mindset to embrace resourcefulness.
(22:17) How Reprogramming The City began, and the underlying philosophy that drives it.
(26:24) If you put enough micro together, you get the macro.
(28:01) His most satisfying experiences from working with school children in Norway.
(29:30) Creativity gets unlearned as we grow older.
(34:06) The creative bootcamp people underwent when the lockdowns began.
(38:34) Simple mental exercises to follow in order to get out of the comfort zone and learn from unfamiliar experiences.
(42:40) The difference between “content” and “context,” and how context changes the way we see the world.
(53:01) A common pitfall in communicating ideas that have potential to make an impact.
(55:00) Scott’s method to collect ideas and identify the ones that have potential.
(60:10) What it takes to write great stories.
(67:24) The most critical habit in Scott’s life.
(70:10) The lesson he would give just-out-of-college Scott today.
(74:33) How people can connect with him.

Meanwhile, you can complement this interview by listening to the interview of another design expert, Fred Dust. [Listen to it here.]


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