In hindsight everything makes sense. Clear patterns emerge and tempt us into predictions of the future.
But does scientific discovery really start with a clear hypothesis, does great impact really start with ambitious goals (such as the often repeated Media Lab mantra of improving 1B peoples lives), and do great investment successes really begin with insightful analysis of the economic dynamics?
Or is the course of human learning, innovation and progress better described as a series of lucky accidents, coincidences, collisions and adaptation?
Deciding which of these models we subscribe to has far-reaching consequences for the design of schools, governments and economies.