Noam Chomsky is one of the legendary thinkers of the 20th century. Now an emeritus professor at MIT, he established his reputation in the fields of linguistics and philosophy. He is also well known as an activist for social causes.
A recent speech (with video) on the "Purpose of Education" is in this article from Fast Company. What caught my attention was this quote on creativity and innovation:
"It’s the way cultural progress takes place generally. Classical artists, for example, came out of a tradition of craftsmanship that was developed over long periods, with master artisans and others, and sometimes, you can rise on their shoulders and create new marvelous things. But it doesn’t come from nowhere. If there isn’t a lively cultural and educational system, which is geared towards encouraging creative exploration, independence of thought, willingness to cross frontiers, to challenge accepted beliefs… if you don’t have that, you’re not going to get the technology that could lead to economic gains.”
Great thinkers always explain complex ideas simply. Culture and education foster creativity and innovation.