‘Nourish the crazy ideas because the good ones hide inside them’ – 35 inspiring quotes on creativity and innovation

‘Nourish the crazy ideas because the good ones hide inside them’ – 35 inspiring quotes on creativity and innovation

Thursday July 16, 2015,

4 min Read

My travels this month took me to the amazing Mosaic Summer School on Creativity and Management - held across three weeks in Montreal and Barcelona, in parallel with the Montreal International Jazz Festival and Barcelona GREC Music Festival! The participants included a broad mix of entrepreneurs, designers, educators, artistic directors, techies, urban planners, art historians, investors, authors, architects, musicians and even circus managers.

Barcelona Entrepreneurship Centre
Barcelona Entrepreneurship Centre

From the presentations, discussions and artiste interviews, here is my pick of 35 inspiring quotes on the power of ideas, creativity, design, innovation and entrepreneurship! (See also my quotes compilation from the Bangkok edition of this workshop series, and the photo essays on Montreal as Creative Hub and Montreal International Jazz Festival.)


Nourish the crazy ideas because the good ones hide inside them. - Roger Parent, Réalisations.net

If insects were to invite us into their world, what would it be like? - Anne Charpenter, Montreal Insectarium

A startup is a faith-based enterprise. - Steve Blank

Don’t shape creative people for jobs, shape jobs for creative people. - Pierre Giorgini, Lille Université

People create products, not processes. - Denys LaPointe, Bombardier

The power of metaphor is that it builds on something we are already familiar with. - Arthur Shelley, ‘The Organisational Zoo’

Part of being a great musician is to know your limitations. - Kevin Dean, The Kevin Dean Quintet

The only thing I know to do as an artist is to be honest and brave. - Erykah Badu, neo-soul queen

If you are a flautist, you see instruments everywhere. Even in pipes, brooms, chairs, ladders, pasta, crutches, wheels and barricades! - Xavi Luznao, musician

In the era of globalisation, the local is still relevant -- and perhaps more than before. - Montserrat Pareja-Eastaway, University of Barcelona

We give our team permission to try, fail – and try again! You must learn from your failure and show that you have learnt. - Elaine Bissonnette, Bell Canada

As we grow older, we become more cowardly and less creative. – Pep Torres, Museum of Ideas and Inventions

Have meetings standing up – they won’t last beyond 15 minutes! - Rick Seifeddine, Bell Canada

Entrepreneurship is a cult in Montreal. - Sylvain Carle, Real Ventures

Montreal - art work on discarded CDs
Montreal Science Museum - art work on discarded CDs

Mobilisation of people is harder than just asking them for ideas. - Valerie Chanal, University of Grenoble

To understand your brand as a country, talk to people outside your country. - Jean-Christophe Bedos, Birks Group

When you follow your nose, anything can happen! - Isabelle Michaud, Monsillage

Creativity is about plagiarism. Plagiarise all the time, that is the only way things develop! - John Armitage, University of Southampton

Never forget your roots or your beginnings. - Alain Caron, bass ace

Architecture is the conversation between the building and the people. - Enric Ruiz Geli, Cloud 9

The dream of a smart city is to be efficient, productive, sustainable, social and free! - Alex Garrigues, Barcelona iCapital

A smart city has to be a learning city. - Josep Pique, Barcelona City Council

The new culture is not a question of working faster, but working together. - Jordi Corral, Roca Innovation Lab

Design is more than applied knowledge. - Armand Hatchuel, École des Mines

Art and citizen participation should be a fundamental part of how science is carried out. - Josep Perello, University of Barcelona

The cultural tissue of a city lies in its creativity, live performances, education and leadership. - Luis Bonet, University of Barcelona

Co-creation sounds super - but is a mess to organise! - Charles-Mathieu Brunelle, Montreal Space for Life

We are in the beginning of a new Renaissance. - Eugenia Balcells, visual artist

‘Gaudi’ means a whale of a time! – Daniel Giralt-Miracle, University of Barcelona

Many innovators will fail early on, but society needs more people to experiment more. - Xavier Castener, University of Lausanne

If you don’t innovate, you will be obsolete. Even younger companies are dying because they don’t innovate well enough. - Jordi Serrano, Future4Work

At current consumption growth rates, we will end up eating insects in 100 years! – Judy Auge, Alicia Foundation

A good chef interprets the recipe like a musician. - Jaume Biarnes, Alicia Foundation

Respect all the flavours you have in your life. - Carles Tejedor, Oil Motion

Later in life, you will remember not your successes or failures – but what you did not do. - Francesc Sole Parellada, Portes 7 restaurant

Wake up and dream – Richard Speer, Attraction Media


YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).