Myriam Ogier
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Some twenty years ago, I worked on children's drawings and what struck me at the time was that until kindergarten, they are extremely creative, volcanic, and then when they enter high school, their creativity diminishes sharply. Yet I think that creativity is what can help us today in the uncertain and increasingly complex world we are in. So when I became interested in gifted and creative people,

I called them "atypical multipotentials". Why “atypical multipotentials” - a slightly complicated name? "Multipotentials" because they are people with multiple talents, and "atypical" because they are people who think differently. Now I'm going to make two small digressions. The first is let us broaden our vision of intelligence. We often see intelligence as a logico-mathematical and verbal intelligence with a Cartesian mind. However, the theory of multiple intelligences developed by Howard Gardner's, an American psychologist, in 1984, shows us that intelligence is a much broader concept. He spoke of emotional intelligence, intra and extra personal intelligences, but he also spoke of other intelligences such as the spatial intelligence of the architect Frank Ghery, or the kinesthetic intelligence of Federer, the tennis champion, or even the musical intelligence of Mozart. What is the other reason why I call these people "atypical multipotentials"? They are atypical because they think in a different way. Here I'm going to make a second short detour to speak about the American neuropsychologist, Roger W. Sperry, who received the Nobel Prize in 1981 for showing cerebral asymmetry. So we have the "left-brained" rational people, and the "right-brained" creative people. Since then, medical imagery has made much progress and it has shown the complexity of our brain which, by the way, has not yet revealed to us all of its mysteries. But, what is certain with atypical multipotentials is that they have a tree-like thinking process. And their thinking process is tree-like because they have an extremely strong intuition. They think in a disruptive manner. Why ? Because they think by making a lot of associations, a lot of analogies and connections. Let me give you an example. The great French designer Charlotte Perriand who is perhaps little known although she worked with Le Corbusier, was mandated to create a mountain shelter. She didn't know how to proceed, but one day, as she was traveling in Croatia, she saw a merry-go-round. Now you may wonder what is the connection between a children merry-go-round and a mountain hut? In reality, she instantly understood that they had the same technical constraints. And this is precisely an example of the type of analogical thinking an atypical multipotential can have. Atypical multipotentials are people who are very fast thanks to their intuition. They are also visionary, depending on their talents. They have a global vision, a long-term and strategic vision. They also possess a distinct characteristic: Atypical multipotentials are full of emotions, they are like emotional sponges. Now recently, a client said to me, "You know, Myriam, I don't take the subway because all these vibs of people who are not feeling well, I can't stand it." So I work a lot with big companies, with people who work in the towers of La Défense, and in these towers, there are open spaces. Now open spaces are terrible for atypical multipotentials because since they already have trouble concentrating, if in addition, there is movement and noise around them, it becomes catastrophic. Multipotentials also have a special relationship to themselves. If school was a good experience for them, if everything went well in their family life, and they were recognized, then they have no problem. They can turn into Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Richard Bransons, Dysons, in short persons who succeed wonderfully. However, I think the majority of them are not recognized because they can become dunces at school out of boredom. Besides, many of these very intelligent people do not necessarily finish their studies. So what's going on? Well, they live like in the well-known tale of The Ugly Duckling. The ugly duckling is rejected by his brothers and sisters. And why is he rejected? Because he is different. He is not appreciated, not understood, until one day, the ugly duckling so unhappy goes away and discovers the swans. One day, he meets swans and then it’s happiness. He understands he is like them, he is recognized and everything goes well. Now these atypical multipotentials, who do they have in front of them? Who are the ducks? The ducks are actually people who are steeped in the Cartesian mind, those who have a sequential, linear, logical, and analytical thinking process. In short they are like Descartes: they prove, they reason. But what atypical multipotentials blame them for though is that they do not see outside the box and always think: "Let's do as people have always done, because why would we change something that has never failed so far?" These people, I call them the “neurotypical rationals” or just “rationals” to make it simpler. So what do rationals think of multipotentials? Well, they see them as unmanageable, always "too" something: too dispersed, too disorganized, too difficult to understand. Personally, I think that today we need all the intelligences. We need them all, but if you're not convinced of this, if you are a rational and think, "No that's not possible, these people are unbearable," let me give you a simple recipe. If you want to get rid of all these original, atypical people who tell you lots of things that you don't understand, just give them simple routine tasks, fragment their activities so that they lose the sense of what they're doing, give them an incompetent hierarchy, and when they do a great job, find the killing detail, the comma that is in the wrong place, and with such a recipe, a priori, you will get rid of them more or less quickly. Now of course, you understand that this is not at all what I recommend. I really think that we need atypical multipotentials, so how do we welcome them? These are people who need challenging tasks and who need purpose in what they do. These are people who care about the collective interest and who like to work in communities. So if you want to get these two profiles to work together, you should try to entrust them with multiple projects because the more projects they carry out simultaneously, the better they are, as long as you do not exhaust them! To conclude, let me say the skills of atypical multipotentials are particularly interesting to me because they are complementary to what artificial intelligence can bring us. Artificial intelligence know how to duplicate not innovate. Besides, their ability to think differently, their creativity, their sense of collectiveness, and their vision of the future, can help us. So I think we need to know them in order to recognize them and welcome them. Why? Because by welcoming them, we will gain a vision of the future that we will see take shape before our eyes with serenity and optimism. Thank you. (Applause)