Unleashing Creative Brilliance: How to Think Outside the Box – Insights from Giovanni Corazza’s TEDx Talk

When talking about creativity, an advice we often hear is that we should think outside the box. But what does thinking outside the box mean, and what does the box represent? Is the secret to creativity just simplicity? These concepts are elucidated in this article in a way that is easy to grasp. Stick to the end for an exercise that can help you improve your creativity.

Giovanni Corazza is an Italian professor who made a speech about thinking outside the box and creativity at TEDxRoma 2014. This article is an attempt to summarize the ideas he gave during his speech. The professor spoke about some deep issues that undoubtedly people with more experience will have a better grasp of, but I tried my best.

Why get out of the box?

In our shared human experience, we inhabit a common realm of information. Our individuality isn’t defined by what we’ve learned, but rather by the unique perspectives we bring. It’s the remarkable ability to interpret the same information in varied ways, with one approach being traditional and another involving innovative, unconventional thinking. This entails venturing into uncharted territories, embracing audacity, and fearlessly embracing risks.

The sense of security the box offers comes with a trade-off – it limits the potential for exploration, growth, and creativity. As Giovanni Corazza eloquently conveys, the box can be a safe haven, but it can also be a constraint. It defines our comfort zones, preventing us from venturing into uncharted territories of thought. Our mental box can be likened to well-worn paths – easy to tread, but devoid of discovery.

Corazza asserts that in a connected world where information is shared, our individuality is defined by how we think and interpret that information. While safety lies within the box, true progress and personal growth occur when we venture outside.

What is the box?

Corazza elaborates that the box is not the brain itself, we can not think outside of what our mind can offer us. The box is the boundaries that are set around our thought. He highlights that the boundaries of this mental box consist of our habitual ways of thinking, ingrained assumptions, and established routines. It is the place where our minds naturally gravitate, presenting a well-trodden path of thought. The box encompasses our preconceived notions, limiting our ability to perceive possibilities beyond its borders.

Within the box, we tend to view information through a narrow lens, sticking to conventional wisdom and established norms. This restricts our capacity to explore alternative perspectives.

How can we come up with creative ideas and think outside of the box?

Giovanni Corazza ended his speech with a fun experiment on how to come up with creative ideas. He showed how we can take our everyday mundane concepts and add a little twist to them to make them more interesting of effective. He used the example of TEDx conferences and how we can take their core elements and make something creative out of them.

We begin by stripping away unnecessary complexities and distilling your ideas down to their core essence. What does a TEDx conference require? It needs a grand stage, good speakers, a catchy theme, etc. We can take each of these elements and change something about them. 

What if we held a conference in a stadium instead of a traditional auditorium? We could have filled seats with speeches given during the break time.

What if instead of having everyone give their own speeches, we make the speakers swap scripts?

Corazza just presents them as mere ideas that we can judge on our own. If some of them sound wrong to our ears, then maybe we can modify them with the same principles that we learned from his speech?

Turning some conventional ideas into something creative using the Giovanni Corazza formula

We decided to employ Giovanni Corazza’s formula to come up with some of our own creative new ideas. We hope that this inspires you to practice coming out of your box as well.

  • Conventional Idea: Fitness Gym

Twist: A fitness center where workout routines are gamified, turning exercise into an immersive and engaging adventure.

  • Conventional Idea: Movie Theater

Twist: Outdoor movie screenings blending films with stargazing, creating a unique cinematic experience.

  • Conventional Idea: Local Markets

Twist: Local markets featuring not only goods but also interactive workshops where visitors can learn traditional crafts from skilled artisans.

  • Conventional Idea: River Transportation

Twist: Convert traditional boats into mobile art galleries, allowing artists to showcase their work while cruising along scenic river routes.

  • Conventional Idea: Tech Workshops

Twist: Engage youth in tech-driven workshops that blend cultural preservation with innovation, creating digital content to showcase traditions.


We hope that this short summary of Giovanni Corazza’s speech about creative thinking was able to inspire you to move on your own. Thinking outside the box is essential for personal growth and innovation. We learned that the “box” represents our habitual thinking patterns and limits our creativity. By exploring unconventional ideas and adding unique twists to familiar concepts, we can generate fresh and imaginative solutions. Going beyond our comfort zones leads to the path of innovation where new possibilities unfold.