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Laughing is a serious matter

For innovative solutions laughter is invaluable - laughter makes it easier to think more broadly and
Disruptors Co
Laughing is a serious matter
By Disruptors Co • Issue #126 • View online
For innovative solutions laughter is invaluable - laughter makes it easier to think more broadly and associate ideas and relationships more freely. This is partly because to laugh - to get a joke - requires the whole brain. The left side effectively sets up the joke, and it’s the right half that ‘gets it’. This is very different to an emotional response, which is typically confined to one part of the brain. Laughter and humour, on the other hand, ripples all around the brain, relying on and affecting every part of it, even making new neural pathways.
Studies have found that many of the games used in improvisational comedy training could be effectively adapted to product design idea generation - and found that doing these (and having a bloody good laugh in the process), increased idea output by an average of 37% in product brainstorming sessions held after the exercises.
Humour helps us overcome the brain’s strong negativity bias. We are geared to have clearer memories (so greater awareness), of negative experiences over the positive. It makes sense for a caveperson to be acutely attuned to rustles in the bushes, but in modern working life negative bias means we’re not effectively able to assess innovative ways of working unless we are less risk, and change, averse.
On average children laugh 400 times a day, while adults only laugh on average 15 times. That sounds to me like many people are not just losing their creative abilities as they age, but also their sheer enjoyment of life. Researchers suggest that the minimum number of laughs adults need a day to fire up the grey cells and be open to possibilities is at least 30. 
Read the whole piece, and enjoy the funny cat stuff, at the Disruptors’ blog.

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The top 10 startups from Y Combinator W19 Demo Day 1 – TechCrunch
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And the Hackathons!
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