Alf Rehn: Dangerous Ideas

When was the last time you truly came up with a great idea? An idea which changed the direction of your sector, never mind your company?

Internationally recognised business thinker, author and speaker Alf Rehn argues that organisations’ effort to develop a culture of creative thinking have turned creativity into an uncreative, pale imitation of itself.

In Dangerous Ideas, Alf Rehn makes a case for individuals and organisations to “shock themselves into change” by stepping out of their comfort zone:

“I’ve worked all over the globe on issues of creativity and innovation, trying to coax people out of too comfortable and traditional views. Now, Manchester is known as a creative city, and Cornerhouse is justly famous as a creative hub and a hothouse of ideas, and I look forward to raising these issues in this context.

What I believe is that while the discussion on the creative economy is one of the more important ones for our age, we must do a lot more than merely treating creativity as some cute and fuzzy set of pleasant ideas that can be easily integrated into existing structures. Instead, I feel we need to re-discover creativity as a radical force – one which may well evoke feelings of danger and the unseemly rather than having people lazily nodding along.

In other words, creativity as grime and punk rather than muzak, and what better place to bring this out than Cornerhouse?”

About Alf Rehn >>


The event will be streamed live to Watershed (Bristol) and Showroom Workstation (Sheffield).

Tweet using #RehnMCR to get involved in the debate before, during and after the event

Alf is 38, a management professor and internationally recognised business thinker, author and speaker. He is currently holding the Chair of Management and Organisation at Åbo Akademi University in Finland, was earlier the SSES Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, and has in addition taught at universities all over the globe.

As a business thinker, Alf has been called an “enfant terrible of organization studies”, while The Times called him a “star of the future”. Alf was included in the The 2009 Thinkers 50, the listing of the world’s top 50 business thinkers, among the “Up and Coming Business Thinkers”. In 2011, Alf Rehn will be a keynote speaker alongside Al Gore at the 2011 Finnish Community of Entrepreneurship.

Born in Finland, but raised in more than a dozen places, Alf stopped for long enough to get a MSc in business studies despite spending most of his time reading philosophy, sociology and cultural studies, and later – even more improbably – got a doctorate in technology (Industrial Management) while reading and writing about anthropology and behavioral sciences. His thesis on gift economies and new organizational forms discussed piracy and collaboration long before it became fashionable, and got him enthusiastic about looking for the bleeding edge of economic developments. Despite this, he got a chair in management at the advanced age of 31 years old. Beating all odds, he’s still curious about the world.

He currently lives in both Finland and Denmark, as well as in a range of hotel rooms and airport lounges around the world. He drinks too much coffee, not enough water, and is a devoted fan of Ethel Merman and the divine Patsy Cline