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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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Cities of Knowledge: Why We Learn Faster in Cities Than We Could On Our Own

December 1, 2013, 12:40 AM
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The original venture capitalist was the military industrial complex, Margaret Pugh O'Mara wrote in her book Cities of Knowledge: Cold War Science and the Search for the Next Silicon Valley. Government money and government planning built high-tech regions dubbed "cities of knowledge" where the best minds worked together to advance U.S. technological supremacy during the Cold War. 

O'Mara argues that we must understand the unique history and geography of places like Silicon Valley if we are to replicate these places as hubs of talent, jobs, capital, and institutions. 

In our 'flat' digital world, in which we can connect virtually with anybody we want, one could argue that the notion of an innovation hub is outdated. However, in today's lesson, innovation guru John Hagel explores the paradox that, despite the fact that technology infrastructure has made location unimportant, we’re becoming more urbanized at a more rapid rate than ever before.

Why is this? According to Hagel, learning faster is becoming more and more important, and we simply learn faster in cities than we could on our own.

Watch the video here:

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Cities of Knowledge: Why We...

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