bookreview: The Element by Sir Ken Robinson

The ElementThe Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, is the most recent book by Sir Ken Robinson that was published just 2 months ago. Ken had inspired many -including me- with his legendary talk at the TED conference.

First of all, I must say It’s a well written book. The Element is filled with amazing, inspiring and funny stories of all sorts of people who found their “element”. While reading the stories you can almost imagine Ken telling them on the TED stage in his distinctive storytelling style. Sometimes I got the feeling I as if I were reading a true novel.

I had high expectations and I must honestly say that they were too high. I really enjoyed reading the parts on “how ARE you intelligent” instead of “how intelligent ARE you”. It’s so true that we have to redefine how we look at intelligence in our (western) society. Also his view on creativity, it’s value and the role it plays in education is greatly inspiring to read.
What disappointed me was the fact that if you’ve seen the TED presentation you can almost predict every page of the book. My personal opinion is that after a while it tends to get too elaborate with too much stories. I would have liked if the pace was higher.
Maybe it’s because like Ken states in the book “we take a lot of things for granted” and the main purpose of this book is too make you conscious of the things that help you reach your element. If you are already aware of those things then this book doesn’t have a lot to offer besides the entertaining stories.

Although I’m not very excited about The Element I must say that anyone who inspires you to pursue your true passion is worth your time and attention. And I’m sure this book will inspire a lot of people, just like the TED video. It’s a good recreational read. I didn’t find any lifechanging insights but I guess a lot of definitely people might.

Marc Fonteijn

Marc Fonteijn

Als medeoprichter van 31Volts houdt Marc zich bezig met het verleggen van grenzen binnen service innovatie. Marc helpt organisaties om waarde te creëren voor hun klanten door middel van design.

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1 reactie

  • Comment by mikki

    Hi Marc,

    Thanks for the review :) So it’s true that one can’t ‘really’ find out about his/her own intelligence by reading a book eh. or aren’t we just hard wired to exaggerate the impact of our action? Still, I’m sure all those anecdotes in the book will come in handy to cross-breed your design elements between, “humans, society & things” as guiding narratives? I certainly hope so. Mikki

31Volts [Service Design]