The Source of Our Inspiration

The freedom to fail and pursue ideas far from the beaten path: many scientific breakthroughs were made by intrepid explorers willing to take risks and look beyond the obvious. Our protagonist knows firsthand how incredibly rewarding and motivating such a challenge can be and dares you to follow suit.

Beyond the unknown

Under the right conditions, I can be highly infectious. In the past, people used to be scared of me spreading, accusing me of filling peoples’ heads with strange ideas and concepts. But then again, fearless pioneers like Charles Darwin, Marie Curie, and Shen Kuo also experienced the same distrust – scientists and philosophers shunned by mainstream society for their outlandish ideas, which supposedly threatened the current worldview.

Those were dark days, since I love nothing more than to work and collaborate with others. It’s my passion to inspire people, to break new ground, and explore uncharted territory. I thrive in the company of bright thinkers and curious minds, courageous in their risk taking. After all, failures often lead to innovations like when Archimedes had his eureka moment in the bathtub, when Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, or when Christopher Columbus stumbled upon America. These groundbreaking discoveries were often the result of happy accidents.

A flash light showing all the discoveries our company could potentially make A flash light showing all the discoveries our company could potentially make

Where most see nothing, I see opportunities

Here at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany I was embraced with open arms from day one. Starting off with Emanuel Merck (who transformed the family’s small pharmacy into a pioneering supplier of trustworthy, specialty products), I inspired it to become the global science and technology company it is today, with approximately 50,000 employees in over 66 different countries. The people at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany have always understood that stepping out of your comfort zone from time to time can offer answers to questions that have yet to be asked.

Without their trust, those “living crystals” discovered by chance in carrots in 1888 might not have become the LCD screens powering our favorite gadgets. Without a supportive environment that allows me to maximize people’s potential, we might have missed out on huge advances in global research, biotechnology production, powerful microchips, and groundbreaking cancer therapies. I encourage people to use their brains in different ways. By doing so, I can even make them more efficient.

In a way, I help them see possibilities where others see problems – or nothing at all. But even I couldn’t have imagined where all this would lead: to an age of driverless cars, printable solar cells, and bioelectronic medicines.

 People leaving their comfort zones and questioning things in order to drive innovation and make new discoveries  People leaving their comfort zones and questioning things in order to drive innovation and make new discoveries

Escape your comfort zone!

I, for one, welcome the challenge. Today, I help more than 6,000 researchers at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany fight disease, illuminate OLEDs, perfect cosmetics, and even bring new life into this world. An annual research and development budget of around €2 billion certainly helps to inspire new breakthroughs beyond everyone's immediate area of expertise.

I feel right at home at the new innovation center in Darmstadt, a hub for breakthroughs and future technologies. It’s an environment designed to unlock my full potential. Together with my favorite allies (courage and creativity), I’m helping bring vibrant science and technology to life. At the end of the day, it’s my job to drive innovation, business, and growth. I love my job and everything it makes possible …

But who am I exactly? Well, I’m curiosity: the desire to learn and discover. I’m the driving force behind progress and innovation. I bridge the gap between today and tomorrow. After all, only the curious have something to find.

Feeling curious? Find out why curious companies are more successful and how curiosity will shape our future:

A future shaped by curiosity?

We can imagine it. Can you?