12th International CREANDO Symposium, Creativity in Economics, Arts and Science, Zermatt/Valais, Switzerland, 1998

12th International CREANDO Symposium on Creativity in Economics, Arts and Science, Zermatt/Valais, Switzerland, 1998
Challenge and Creative Leadership

Chairman: Gottlieb GUNTERN


PhD in Comparative Politics, Georgetown University, Washington DC, USAProfessor of Political Sciences at Birzeit University, Palestine

Angelo GAJA
degree in oenology Oenological Institute of Alba, master's degree in economics, University of Turin, Italy, owner and president of the Gaja Winery and ofGaja Distribuzione, Barbaresco, Italy

PhD in computer graphics and quantum physics, University of Geneva,Professor at the University of Geneva, director of the Department of Information Systems, University of Geneva,Founder of MIRALab, University of Geneva, Switzerland

Alexander A. MIGDAL
PhD in physics, Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, Chernogolovka, Russia, president and co-founder of Real Time Geometry, Corp., Princeton, chief scientist, MetaCreations Inc., Princeton, visiting collaborator, Princeton University, Russia/USA

Orville SCHELL
PhD in history (Chinese studies), University of California, Berkeley, journalist and author,dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, USA

Summary by Gottlieb Guntern

One oft he most extraordinary examples of a life distinguished by challenge and creative leadership is that of Thomas A. Edison. His capacity to let his imagination wander beyond the boundaries and his willpower to reach his goals enabled Edison to invent innumerable technical devices, some of which have changed the face oft the earth.

When in 1877 the term "phonograph" appeared for the first time in Edison’s notebooks and shortly afterwards the first accurate sketch oft he device was made, Edison gave it to the Swiss John Kruesi, one of his engineers, with the laconic explanation: "The machine must talk."

Disarmed, Kruesi scratched his head in disbelief and all the others bet cigars that the contraption would never work. When the formidable apparatus was ready fort he first test, Edison gathered his team together, turned the handle oft he shaft and shouted into the diaphragm:

"Mary had a little lamb.
Its fleece was white as snow.
And everywhere that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go."

He turned the shaft back, replaced the diaphragm and cranked the shaft forward again. Out oft he machine came Edison’s high-pitched voice reciting the Mother Goose rhyme. Kruesi turned pale and made some pious exclamation in German. All the onlookers were dumfounded.

Edison admitted afterwards, "I was never so taken aback in all my life... I was always afraid of things that worked the first time."


• Introduction to Ziad ABU-AMR
• Introduction to Angelo GAJA
• Introduction to Nadia MAGNENAT THALMANN
• Introduction to Alexander A. MIGDAL
• Introduction to Orville SCHELL
• Introduction to Samuel C.C. TING