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We are Big Idea Hunters…

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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Drop Out Now: The Only Way to Get an Education is to Hack it.

May 6, 2013, 4:33 PM

In our new report series "8 Exponential Trends that will Shape Humanity" we explore eight rapidly accelerating trends that will shape institutions, governments, businesses and everyday consumers. The second part of the report examines the future of education.

“60% of the best jobs in the next ten years haven’t been invented yet.”

This quote from futurist Thomas Frey really encapsulates the core of the discussion about the future of education. In a world that's changing faster than ever, mainstream educational  practices are not sufficient to prepare students for the future. Just think about how much has changed in the past 10 years alone. As Thomas Friedman says in The World is Flat: “Remember, in 2005: “Facebook didn’t exist for most people, Twitter was still a sound, 4G was a parking space, and ‘Skype’ was a typo.” Learning is no longer a singular event, but rather an ongoing project to keep yourself updated with the latest skills and knowledge.

With the average college student debt coming out to about $30k, it's no wonder that prospective college students are reevaluating their education, especially since a degree is no longer a guarantee that they will get a job after graduation. Add to that, the fact that skills need to be updated constantly for a rapidly evolving world, and the one shot, 4 year run of college ceases to make sense. Learning online is one way that people are staying up to speed without having to invest huge amounts of money - in fact there was a 450% increase in online public school enrollment from 2006 to 2012. Nontraditional education programs like Skillshare, Brooklyn Brainery or LifeLabs are also offering spaces to update your skills or learn new concepts as needed.

Innovation from a 13-year-old

Logan LaPlant is a self proclaimed “hackschooler,” eschewing junior high for a personalized education based on a creative hacker mindset, liberal use of technology and online resources, and participation in experimental classes & camps. LaPlant  explains:

I’m not tied to one particular curriculum, and I’m not dedicated to one particular approach. I hack my education. I take advantages of opportunities in my community and through a network of my friends and family. I take advantage of opportunities to experience what I’m learning, and I’m not afraid to look for shortcuts or hacks to get a better, faster result. It’s like a remix or a mashup of learning. … And here’s the cool part: because it’s a mindset, not a system, hackschooling can be used by anyone, even traditional schools.

We see this as one likely future of the education space --- education becoming holistic and lifelong, something that combines hands on experience with some type of classroom learning whether online, in a traditional school or at an informal education space.

To learn more about the Future of Education, download our free report here.

sparks & honey is a next generation agency that helps brands synchronize with culture. Follow us on Twitter at @sparksandhoney to stay up to date on the latest high energy trends.

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Drop Out Now: The Only Way ...

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