Summary of The Surprising Need for Strangeness

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The Surprising Need for Strangeness summary


6 Overall

6 Importance

8 Innovation

6 Style


Computer engineer Maria Bezaitis makes several compelling suggestions about the need to change one outmoded social norm: “Don’t talk to strangers.” Her message – that classifying people as those you know and those you don’t is too rigid for the digital age – is striking. Bezaitis’s observations could benefit from some deeper insights. For example, what would change if people challenged this norm? Nevertheless, getAbstract recommends this talk to companies and individuals interested in cyberculture, change and new ideas.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why strangers don’t exist,
  • Why strangeness is valuable, and
  • How digital technology is changing social and organizational relationships and processes.

About the Speaker

Maria Bezaitis is the director of the People and Practices Research Group at Intel.



You heard it countless times growing up: “Don’t talk to strangers.” This rule warns you to interact only with people you already know. That’s not an attractive idea. When people are at their “best,” they reach out to individuals who are strange to them, because people learn from those who are different...

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