Rhode Island School of Design president John Maeda defines the key qualities of standout innovators – a willingness to struggle, to make mistakes, to live with ambiguity – and tackles the creative’s biggest challenge: How to lead other creatives. Perhaps confronting the status quo, killing bureaucracy, and leading change can be its own art form.
John Maeda is a world-renowned artist, graphic designer, computer scientist and educator whose career reflects his philosophy of humanizing technology. For more than a decade, he has worked to synthesize technology, education and the arts into a 21st-century model for creativity and innovation. As president of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), a position he assumed in June, 2008, Maeda champions the vital role artists and designers play in fueling our contemporary creative economy. He sees RISD’s emphasis on critical thinking and critical making – on making tangible objects by hand – as increasingly relevant in an overly digital world.