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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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How Soon Will We All Work from Home?

August 14, 2014, 6:11 PM

The ubiquity of digital communication already allows most people to do work from home, even if that means just responding to emails on a smart phone. Completing more complex tasks is often just a matter of scale, requiring more complex technology, but is nonetheless already possible. And those who came of age during the digital revolution are now in positions of leadership, working to create a corporate culture that responds to needs of customers, clients, and employees. For many, having a flexible work schedule is no longer a luxury but a requirement.

While working at home might be nice for employees, how does it affect the goals of a business? Yahoo famously disallowed its employees from working at home, arguing that innovation is the result of face-to-face interaction and the spontaneous cross-pollination of ideas that can only happen in person. Contemporary offices designs, such as those used by Apple, encourage such innovation by creating centrally located facilities like restrooms and drinking fountains, meaning that people of different departments might run into each other and strike up a conversation. 

Ellen Galinsky, President and Co-Founder of Families and Work Institute, argues that Yahoo used a blunt tool to correct a sensitive issue. She says that a forum for creative collaboration isn't limited to chatter at the water cooler. A good deal of creative inspiration, she says, happens on the individual level, i.e. its our alone time after a group discussion from which creative ideas spring.

Read more at Fast Company

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