UNC Chapel Hill is on an innovation kick these days.
And on Tuesday, UNC-CH enlisted an alum, Heather Monroe-Blum, to talk about innovation. Hers was the featured speech at University Day, UNC-CH's annual birthday party.
Monroe-Blum, who has a doctorate in epidemiology from UNC-CH, is the principal - essentially, the chancellor - of McGill University, a prestigious institution in Canada.
She has specialized in innovation at McGill and spoke Tuesday about how innovation stems from unique viewpoints. Go against the grain, she urged. When smart people from disparate backgrounds work together, discovery happens.
Connections across sectors – universities, governments, industry and communities – are critical, and so are links across disciplines. We face complex problems – unemployment, obesity and starvation, the challenge of achieving higher participation in education for all Americans, including a focussed effort to get boys through high school and university, and, complex, highly transmittable diseases.
No one discipline holds the key. And as any artist, writer, designer or scientist will tell you, the surest way to get the creative juices flowing is to experience something different, to look at a problem from a new perspective. And that’s precisely what multidisciplinary research and learning allow us to do: to connect in order to be creative.
Read her entire address here.