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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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The Future is Gray, Small & Female: Disruptive Demographics and Transportation Tomorrow

January 10, 2011, 8:19 AM
Data dense and seemingly dry, demographic change and transportation are two topics that by themselves do not readily grab the attention of the public. Yet, these are two inter-related factors that both reflect and reinforce lifestyles, consumer patterns, future retail, real estate and mobility demand. In short these are data-driven bookends that shape how we are likely to live tomorrow. 


This video was produced by Transportation@MIT and MIT World recording a talk I delivered November 2010 before a group of researchers, students and transportation professionals in both the public and private sectors. The talk (it's nearly an hour long, so grab a cup of coffee) provides an overview of three demographic 'driving forces': aging, household size, and the predominance of women in an older society and addresses their possible impacts on the transportation behavior and demand in the United States. Examples of related technology-enabled futures based upon research conducted by the MIT AgeLab and the New England University Transportation Center are presented as well as other innovations in livable communities, home services, real estate development patterns, and alternative transportation systems.
 

The Future is Gray, Small &...

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