Master Chef Ferran Adrià is best known for his creative experimentation with molecular gastronomy. He is considered one of the world’s greatest chefs and was called “the Salvador Dali of the kitchen” by Gourmet magazine.
Adrià believes that creativity was the key to his success, helping him to shape a revolutionary paradigm shift in his work. For this reason he launched a huge study of the creative process, an audit that seeks to demystify creativity and make it accessible to everyone in all disciplines. He calls it a map – the creative process map.
As the European economy struggles to grow, Adrià reminds us that creativity can help to increase our productivity and help pull us out of the crisis. He has partnered with the Telefonica Foundation and launched a major exhibition called “Auditing the Creative Process” in Madrid. We met him there to find out more and to see how we could all be a little bit more creative.
Q. More than ever, creativity and innovation is necessary to help boost Europe’s economy. Do you think we are on the right track? What more could the EU do to promote creativity?
We are definitely making progress and it is becoming increasingly clear that we need to promote creativity and innovation to be more competitive.
Innovation and creativity have, without question, been the driver of human development. Investing in them is not only a safe bet, it is the most vital one. So we need to place our bet on creativity and innovation, especially among young people, without ever forgetting they have the right to be wrong. Creativity always involves risk, and this risk, this difficulty, is the reason why we must support creative people.
Could we do more? Yes, of course we can. For example, we could create a system similar to the Anglo-Saxon model for research and development, which attracts massive funding and support for innovation. To do this, however, our institutions need to go through a radical transformation.
Q. Sometimes creativity is seen as a luxury, but it is within everyone’s reach. What is your advice for a small business that wants to be more creative?
Creativity can open up new opportunities, but first you need to be pragmatic. The first step is to evaluate your business, pinpoint new trends in your sector and find out where you are going. Once you have done this, focus on the areas that are open to creative ideas. Being pragmatic and focused is essential in order to achieve results.
Q. I see that you ask many questions on Twitter and you have more than 66,000 followers… Do you think that social networks can help foster new ideas about creativity?
Social media is a fascinating tool for creativity and innovation. It facilitates an exchange of ideas on a global scale, helping us to improve and correct our pre-conceptions while supporting the creation of new approaches.
Q. The #VeoCosas_Adria contest is a fun initiative that you launched to inspire us to see things differently. Where does your inspiration come from?
Inspiration comes from everywhere. I always say that what inspires me is life. What is important is to keep an open mind at all times and to always keep your antenna up. This way inspiration can strike at any time – during a walk in a park, a trip abroad, a visit to a museum, or even a few minutes of reflection on the sofa.
For some additional inspiration here is a short summary of a workshop in which I partipated in with Ferran Adria: