It’s really easy to think that innovation and creativity are things that just happen all by themselves - bright, clever people come up with ideas in a blinding flash of light and solve the big challenges of the world just like that. But as Cedric explains so well, there are a number of factors that strongly influence the process.
One of the factors he mentions is constraints, which may sound counter-intuitive but we know that being clear about the constraints on your challenge is hugely important in getting the right kind of solution.
He also mentions meticulous, systematic work (it’s not an easy process) and a healthy dose of luck and tenacity. Some of the world’s greatest innovators simply didn’t give up even in the face of continual failure, and eventually their luck came in.
The video is only 3 minutes long - have a peek. (And if you like Villani’s style, do take a look at his Royal institution lecture on the Birth of a Theorem, in which you get to admire his rather flamboyant dress sense.)