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Creativity and Entrepreneurship

Creativity and Entrepreneurship

Changing Currents in Education and Public Life

Edited by Lynn Book and David Phillips

While creativity and entrepreneurship may appear to be unlikely allies, they are increasingly intersecting to produce economic and social value in new and exciting ways. This groundbreaking volume examines how creativity and entrepreneurship can be used in conjunction to foster positive change and innovation, particularly in areas such as higher education and sustainable global development.

Chapter 11: Overcoming obstacles to creativity in geographically fragmented environments: Lessons from smallworld networks

Dwayne W. Godwin, Walter Wiggins, Satoru Hayasaka, Paul Laurienti and Jennifer Stapleton-Kotloski

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, management and universities, education, management and universities


Small-world networks are based on the idea that most of us are connected by a relatively small number of mutual acquaintances. In 1967, Stanley Milgram demonstrated the concept in the Nebraska Study. His group mailed packages to 160 people in Omaha, Nebraska, with a letter that asked them to forward the package to an acquaintance, a stockbroker in Boston, Massachusetts, who they thought would bring it a step closer to the target. They were also asked to refrain from contacting the target directly unless they knew him. Following these rules, on average about six steps separated initial participants from the target. Milgram tested this concept; John Guare (1990) named it in his play Six Degrees of Separation; and it was popularized by a game linking other actors to the actor Kevin Bacon. Hungarian author Frigyes Karinthy may have first articulated the concept of a connected world in the short story ‘Láncszemek’ ([Chains] (1929), reviewed in Barabási, 2003). At its most basic, it is an idea that feels correct.

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