Multipotentiality is an educational and psychological term referring to the ability and preference of a person, particularly one of strong intellectual or artistic curiosity, to excel in two or more different fields. (Multipotentiality – Wikipedia) It can also refer to an individual whose interests span multiple fields or areas.
Synonyms and related terms for Multipotentialite are: Polymath, Renaissance Person, Scanner (coined by the late Barbara Sher), Generalist, Multi-hyphenate & Multi-passionate.
Although Multipotentialite is a modern term, popularized by Emilie Wapnick in her 2015 TED talk, Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling, the idea of someone with many passions is not new. Overall, Multipotentiality has been a characteristic of many successful and creative people throughout history.
Multipotentialites bring an interesting set of skills to the table:
1) Multipotentialites have the ability to explore a variety of interests and acquire a wide range of skills.
They are rapid and lifelong learners and their infinitely curious nature allows them to quickly pick up new skills and ideas.
2) They are creative and resourceful, finding unique ways to bring different skills together to solve problems. They are masters at contextual thinking and often come up with novel ways and innovative solutions.
3) Multipotentialites have a diverse perspective that can bring a fresh and exciting outlook to any project.
Because they are not fixed into any particular way of thinking, many Multipotentialites enjoy using their creative minds to explore various angles.
4) They often have an inspiring enthusiasm and passion for learning that can motivate and inspire others. They often empathize with a broader set of people and cultures and are often open-minded and inclusive people.
5) They are able to easily adapt and evolve, which makes them highly valuable in today’s rapidly changing world and fit well into leadership roles.
In the current economy, creativity and the rise of the Creative class are linked to divergent thinking and innovative solutions to current problems. Because new ideas can be found in the intersection of multiple fields, they would benefit from the advantages of Multipotentialites.