Summary of For the Fun of It: Or, the Play in Great Work

For the Fun of It: Or, the Play in Great Work summary

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If you’ve always found school stultifying, this entry in the Wonderland podcast from author Steven Johnson will vindicate you. Johnson hosts two guests affiliated with the MIT Media Lab: director Joi Ito and her associate Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao. Together, they discuss the benefits of creative thinking, why it will become even more important in the future and how you can enhance it at your company. The podcast could provide more concrete and actionable examples of how to promote learning through playing, pursuing passions and interacting with a group. Nonetheless, those hoping to drive innovation and out-of-the-box problem solving will benefit from listening to the podcast.

About the Podcast

The Wonderland podcast features conversations about creativity and innovation. In this episode, host and best-selling author Steven Johnson interviews MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito, and engineer and artist Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao presents a Media Lab invention. 


The MIT Media Lab, which Joi Ito helms, has been a center of innovation since 1985. It has succeeded in part because it supports the four pillars of creative learning – that is, learning through projects, peers, passion and play. The system more closely resembles “lifelong kindergarten” in terms of collaboration and inventiveness than it does the rote memorization and standardized testing of traditional school formats. For instance, the lab has largely abandoned lectures and textbooks, since pedagogical research has revealed that teaching...

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