WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) As Tony Norman reports, “[Kim] Chestney’s recently released book, “Radical Intuition: A Revolutionary Guide to Using Your Inner Power,” explores the place of intuition that has fueled her research and teaching at IntuitionLab, a “global intuition school” she established in 2017 that has attracted students from all over the country, Europe, India, Australia and beyond.”
Kim Chestney has never held elected office, but that hasn’t stopped the author and researcher from having a sizable impact on Pittsburgh’s growing appeal.
She has spent two decades at The Pittsburgh Technology Council where she founded the CREATE! Festival, which became a part of the Three Rivers Arts Festival in 2016. She also started a creative industries business incubator called Co-Create where she “had the opportunity to work with and support some of our region’s most talented artists, visionaries and innovative entrepreneurs.”
She’s now on the vanguard of a locally based movement exploring what it means to “unearth the genius within.”
If that sounds sort of odd, she gets it.
Ms. Chestney’s recently released book, “Radical Intuition: A Revolutionary Guide to Using Your Inner Power,” explores the place of intuition that has fueled her research and teaching at IntuitionLab, a “global intuition school” she established in 2017 that has attracted students from all over the country, Europe, India, Australia and beyond.
“I wanted to hack intuition itself,” she said of the school she founded to normalize the idea of radical intuition. “I wanted to understand how each and every one of us could use it to ‘level up’ our thinking — to go beyond our ‘thinking minds’ to experience a deeper level of life — and the unity behind it all.”
Ms. Chestney has an elegant explanation of her project for those who might be hesitant to embrace something that sounds so exotic at first hearing.
“A gut feeling, an unexplainable ‘knowing,’ a hunch, a sudden insight or a new idea. Radical intuition is all of those things. It is an overarching understanding of intuition as the complement to our intellectual, educated mind,” she said.
“With an educated hunch, our mind and intuition are working together, which is ideal. Sometimes we can get an intuition that goes beyond anything our mind knows. That is a moment of true genius and insight.”
Ms. Chestney, 50, moved to Pittsburgh from Toronto 25 years ago. She wasn’t a stranger to Pennsylvania, having grown up in the Harrisburg area. Since moving here, she has lived mostly in East End neighborhoods from Squirrel Hill to Forest Hills and Murrysville.
For several years, her work was funded by grants from Carnegie Mellon University and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. At CMU, she worked with teachers at the Entertainment Technology Center. She credits working with “some of the most intuitive, ingenious people” at CMU for helping to sharpen her own research and teaching.
“CMU was actually the first institution to recognize the innovative work I was doing with the Tech Council, and there was an incredible amount of synergy,” Ms. Chestney said, pointing to the tech center itself for its focus on blending the arts and technology — left brain and right brain thinking.
She singles out Jesse Schell, CEO of Schell Games and a professor at the Entertainment Technology Center, for having a big impact on a lot of her ideas. “It’s exciting to see really smart people advocating for intuition and the creative, visionary ideas that come with it,” she said.
At the heart of her work at the intersection of the creative and entrepreneurial communities is an all consuming interest in the cultivation of intuition. “The arts, creativity, innovation — this is the space where intuition becomes real — where it has an impact that translates into real change,” she said.
She said she has witnessed firsthand many leaders advocating for intuition as the new holy grail, not just in personal development, but business success, creativity and leadership.”
She uses this analogy: She says rational thinking is to Newtonian physics what intuitive thinking is to quantum physics.
“The traditional linear thinking we have been conditioned into for centuries is only half the picture,” she said. “Intuitive thinking is a kind of quantum thinking where we can do things that once seemed impossible.”
At her IntuitionLab, Ms. Chestney began working with like-minded teachers to create practices to reactivate the parts of people’s minds that most have been taught to ignore or dismiss.
“When our minds are busy, distracted by data saturation, technology, etc., the intuitive signal can’t get through. This is why it is so important for us to slow down, to take a breath,” she said.
Ms. Chestney’s interest in the subject began as a child when she had intuitive insights she couldn’t explain. Those just continued as she became a young adult. “People thought I was crazy, but I knew the ‘impossible’ things that were happening to me were real — and most importantly — normal.”
That’s when her quest to understand intuition became the defining occupation of her life.
Ms. Chestney and IntuitionLab will host a 10-day online seminar\/workshop beginning Nov. 11 called the Intuition Revolution Global Summit. The summit will bring together more than 20 insight leaders to talk about the role radical intuition has played in their success. “The event is free and open to everyone around the world in an effort to raise awareness of intuition as both and normal and extraordinary power within all people,” she said.
“I believe in intuitions and inspirations,” Albert Einstein famously said. “I sometimes ‘feel’ I am right. I do not ‘know’ that I am.” Given the intuitive leaps that led to many of his greatest theories, it’s hard to argue with him. Ms. Chestney has positioned herself solidly in that camp.
For information about the summit, go to: www.intuition-revolution.com.
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