The Neo-Generalist


Title: The Neo-Generalist
Sub-title: Where you go is who you are
Authors: Kenneth Mikkelsen & Richard Martin
Publisher: LID
First published: September 2016
ISBN paperback: 9781910649558
ISBN ebook: 9781911498063

About the book

Have you encountered difficulties describing what you do to other people? Have you ever labelled yourself in order to be understood? Is there a difference in the way that a generalist and a specialist can stay relevant? If you had to design an approach to education fit for the twenty-first century, what would it look like? How do you live a life of meaning if you live in more than one world?

During an era still dominated by hyperspecialism and experts with ‘the one right answer’, the neo-generalist defies easy classification. They are tricksters who traverse multiple domains, living between categories and labels. Encompassing rather than rejecting, the neo-generalist is both specialist and generalist; a restless multidisciplinarian, who is forever learning. The neo-generalist brings together diverse people, synthesising ideas and practice, addressing the big issues that confront us in order to shape a better future. They are curious, responsive, connective.

In The Neo-Generalist, we examine what it is like to be in frequent motion on the specialist–generalist continuum. To illustrate our idea, we draw on stories from numerous disciplines and cultures; from business, art, science, education, activism and sport. In so doing, we explore the characteristics and behaviours of individuals who give expression to their neo-generalism, highlighting the social and organisational benefits they enable. These are border-crossing leaders, innovators, creators and explorers who are already stewarding tomorrow’s world.

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Marginalia (7 October 2016) – RM
Magazine E-180 (27 July 2016) – KM & RM

The Neo-Generalist poster
Poster designed by Caroline Li.