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Episode Info: Felicia Chang is co-founder of Plantain, a company that helps people tell their life stories through combining oral histories, with historical research and beautiful design to create timeless books and digital heirlooms. She’s a trained scientist, and somewhere along the way, she became an entrepreneur, a businesswoman, a researcher, a collector of life stories and an explorer of cultures.We sat with Felicia and had a wonder conversation, the result is this podcast episode. Listen and enjoy.Cover photo by: Marlon James Listening time: 30 mins “I have always been inquisitive, which I believe is critical to creativity.” How do you define creativity, and what does it mean to you?To me, creativity is the ability to see and build connections between what often seem like disparate ideas, sectors, systems, skill sets, people, places, times, etc. It means continuously learning, experiencing and portraying life from new and unexpected angles.How much of your creative ability do you think is innate? Or is your creativity a skill that you have developed?I have always been inquisitive, which I believe is critical to creativity. My father, an engineer, encouraged my brothers and I to ask, “Why?”. We were always told to think through how things did, or could, work. We were also surrounded by rare books and unique memorabilia that belonged to my mother. In hindsight, both these factors shaped my creativity, as I enjoy pairing the pragmatism of pure sciences and the more nuanced philosophies and articulations you can achieve through the arts. I also believe that it is a continuous process, and the work that I do pushes me to develop my creative skills daily. “My family doesn’t fully understand what I do. I am still supposed to be a doctor!” When did you realise that you wanted to express your creativity? Was it encouraged by others (e.g., parents)?This realisation was a slow journey rather than a decisive moment. After my first degree, I was under extreme pressure to dedicate my life to a defined career/passion. That didn’t resonate with me, so I decided to combine the fields and skills I enjoyed, wanted to learn or be better at. In this way, I figured, I would be continuously building or doing something interesting that I loved. This has worked for me thus far, and my current work melds pure and social sciences, culture and art, and business and sustainability. My family doesn’t fully understand what I do. I am still supposed to be a doctor! However, they are great and have always supported me in their own way. I am also very determined and stubborn, so to be honest, encouragement or no encouragement, I knew I was going to find a way to get things done.What is your standard for evaluating your creative work and the works of other people? Do you think that monetary rewards can be compati...
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