Steven Johnson, in his book Where Good Ideas Come From, talks about the influence European coffee houses had in innovative developments:
“The eighteenth-century English coffeehouse fertilized countless Enlightenment-era innovations – everything from the science of electricity, to the insurance industry, to democracy itself.”
One of the main reasons coffeehouses were such a fertile space for innovation was the sparks that flew between people of different backgrounds and experiences. Bankers met with ship captains and shared coffee with poets. Different perspectives led to creative thinking.
Since Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee, we’re starting a new Learning 2.0 tradition: the coffeehouse. This will be sort of the opposite of cohorts: we’ll gather people with different backgrounds together to share ideas and perspectives, to compare viewpoints and values, and to look at educational issues from different angles.