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There is a kind of refusal to serve power that isn’t a revolt or a rebellion, but a revolution in the sense of reversing meanings, of changing how things are understood. Anyone who has been able to break from the grip of a controlling, crippling belief or bigotry or enforced ignorance knows the sense of coming out into the light and air, of release, being set free to fly, to transcend. — Ursula K. Le Guin

“The report, Great Minds Don’t Think Alike: Artists as Innovators in Business, Government and Society, defines Artist Innovators as artists who work outside the studio, the theater and the concert hall bringing their distinctive talents and skills into business, government and the social sector.”

“Artists have used their imagination and foresight to anticipate and catalyze dramatic shifts in human endeavor over centuries.

Painter and sculptor Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) sketched diagrams of helicopters, tanks, and parachutes hundreds of years before such technology became a reality.

Science fiction writer Jules Verne (1828-1905) not only predicted the moon landing a century before it happened, but closely approximated the weight and cost of the spaceship, the site of the launch and the ship’s return to earth, and the feeling of weightlessness the astronauts experienced. Verne also anticipated videoconferencing, skywriting, submarines, and live newscasts. With no formal background in technology, Verne relied on imagination and intuition to pioneer these vivid concepts in his fiction. Though mostly remembered for his work with the peanut, George Washington Carver (c. 1860s-1943) initially studied art and piano at Simpson College in Iowa. It was only after his art teacher recognized his talent for drawing plants that he was encouraged to pursue botany and agriculture more seriously.

Heddy Lamarr (1914-2000) achieved fame as a film actress before developing a patent for “spread-spectrum radio” during World War II. This technology sought to make torpedoes more effective by preventing radio signals from being jammed. Not only was this breakthrough adopted by the US military many years later, but it also served as an important precursor to subsequent inventions like WiFi and Bluetooth.”