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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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5 Trends for 2013: FUTURE

December 7, 2012, 11:25 AM

As we look toward a new year, the sparks & honey team has identified 54 trends that will shape business and popular culture in 2013 and beyond. Based on our Culture Mapping Platform and proprietary scoring methodology, we have created a 2013 Trends Snapshot that features “Now,” “Next” and “Future” trends within 18 categories ranging from Art to Travel.  

"Now" trends are those with high energy and can be leveraged in the present; "Next" trends will begin to manifest towards the end of 2013 and gain traction through 2014; "Future" trends are fringe signals that will play out in 2015 and beyond.

This week, in the final installment of a 3-part series, we look to five trends that will shape the Future:

1. Sliding Scale University

Schools are considering charging by major - less for those that lead to in-demand jobs (technology, engineering) and more for those that instill less marketable skills (art history, philosophy). This same idea is being entertained by lenders; Ivy League students (who are less likely to default) would be charged lower interest rates than students at community colleges and for-profit schools.

2. The New Speakeasy

In the face of New York and other cities' new "pro-life" restrictions on unhealthy habits like soft drinks and smoking, a new speakeasy culture will emerge, offering private clubs and spaces where individuals can indulge in rich foods and banned vices.

3. Hackstruments

Hacked instruments and new musical interfaces will make new creative performances possible and lower the barrier to entry for new musicians, offering intuitive music creation experiences. Novel sounds and genres will be born out of this offshoot of the Hackdesign movement.

4. Personal Vehicles

Experimental single passenger cars, driverless vehicles and modular personal transportation systems will grow in popularity amongst urban dwellers. Vehicle-to-vehicle communication will become more prevalent, offering a safer driving experience.

5. Open Source Revolution

The Android-based $99 OUYA gaming system is challenging the traditional console model with a low price point, hackable hardware and free-to-try streaming games. The game development process is being upended as well; an open development policy will democratize game creation, allowing producers big and small to compete.

To download the full report, click here: sparks & honey 2013 Trends Snapshot

sparks & honey is a next generation agency that helps brands synchronize with culture.


5 Trends for 2013: FUTURE

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