Richard Saul Wurman

Finding The Quest In The Question

Q&A With Richard Saul Wurman

What attracted you to the BIF Summit?

Actually, the BIF Summit attracted itself to me. Saul Kaplan (BIF Founder and Chief Catalyst) asked me for advice when he was planning the first BIF Summit. The Summit attracts smart individuals who tell fresh stories about their passions, ideas, and failures. (Note: Wurman created and chaired the TED conference from 1984 thru 2002.)

Tell us a just a bit about the subject of your BIF Summit story.

The journey of a good speech is somebody telling about their journey of clarity, nothing more and nothing less. It must be unprepared. When you prepare a speech or a conversation in advance, it ruins it.

What, to you, is the value of sharing stories?

When stories are shared, good and inspiring concepts arise in the gray area between them.

Do you have a motto, or “words to live by”? If so, what is it?

I would like tomorrow to be interesting. I would like the day after tomorrow to be interesting, for every day to be different, to be surprised, not have it planned. Interesting days, that’s what life is.

What one thing (or more, if you like) would you like Summit attendees to know about you before they hear your story?

UnderstandingUnderstanding is about the fantasy of being the dumbest person in the room, and being able to identify all the myriad connections of how others think, talk, explain, and visualize. It is about the informed quest: The quest in "question."