Adam Grant, a professor of management at Wharton and author of "Originals," tells Business Insider that J.K. Rowling is perhaps the most influential person alive because of what her books teach kids: originality and morality.
When Business Insider spoke to Grant, who has a Ph.D. in organizational psychology, earlier this year, he said:
"There's a good deal of evidence that we can predict the innovation rates in a culture — even something as specific as patent rates — by looking at children's literature. Countries that end up innovating 20 to 30 years later are the ones where kids are reading about unique accomplishments — where childhood role models in stories do things that have never been done before.
"And there's a lot of originality in the 'Harry Potter' stories: The way to get to Hogwarts, all of the different ideas about how to cast spells, children being the individuals who are responsible for saving adults — all of that is setting a standard for saying, 'I want to do something new.'"
Grant also points to research that suggests the books could teach kids how to be more empathetic and less prejudiced.
"As you learn about muggles and how they're looked down upon by wizards, you actually generalize that to other groups and say, 'You know, maybe we should not stereotype people or discriminate against them based on something they have no control over whatsoever,'" Grant explains.