Fact 1: Any interaction creates raw material we can later use (even if unconsciously) for generating new ideas.
Fact 2: When something unexpected happens, we are more tuned into it. We notice more, and it is more likely to register and have an impact on us.
In this issue, we combine these two facts to experiment with three unexpected interactions. Some of them might require courage; some rely on your imagination. But all three interactions will create an experience and are an opportunity for a new insight or idea to emerge.
Start a Conversation with Someone You Don’t Know
When was the last time you talked with someone you didn’t know? Not a “What’s the time?” or “Can I have a Laté?” kind of conversation, but a real one: a conversation where you’d have to listen.
It’s not trivial, but when you put your mind to it, there are plenty of opportunities to do so. Most of these conversations will lead nowhere and maybe will not even go as far as two sentences. But you might actually learn something interesting you didn’t expect.
Ask Someone You Know Something Unexpected
This one might be easier, but then again, it might not. Pick a colleague, a friend, or a family member and ask them something totally unexpected — something you’ve never discussed before.
Make sure your question is open and can trigger a conversation. Don’t overthink the question or try to predict what the response will be. Just listen carefully and engage in the discussion.
Imagine a Conversation with a Famous Person
The last unexpected conversation is totally imaginative. It will take place in your head.
Pick a famous person, dead or alive, real or fictional. Think of a topic for discussion based on recent events or contemporary trends. Imagine what they would have thought about the subject, how they would have responded, and where such a conversation could have led.
Don’t settle with abstract thoughts. Write the dialog and capture both the ideas as you imagine them and the nuances of language and phrasing.