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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.

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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 to Turn an Idea into a Movement

April 27, 2012, 3:45 PM

What's the Latest Development?

Late last year, TED announced its annual prize would go to an idea rather than an individual. That idea was the City 2.0. In June, the ten best ideas on how to make cities better places to live will receive a slice of the $100,000 in prize money. So how can the prize move beyond a one-off project and become an international movement? Project leaders should seek to involve as wide a public as possible, soliciting ideas from just about anyone. Those ideas which are feasible should be implemented as quickly as possible, with an eye toward leveraging any new concepts that emerge from not-entirely-successful ideas. 

What's the Big Idea?

When it comes to making a single idea into a wider movement, one should not forget the powerful effect of advertising. Print and social media campaigns that reach out "to civic organizations, the academic community and the planning and design professions should be blasted early and often to keep the awareness and interest at a pitched level." And once people are made aware of an issue, a human-centered story is often essential to making a call to action effective. Thanks to social media's low costs, new campaigns can be disseminated regularly that turn people's focus to one particular part of a larger idea. 

Photo credit: Lev Radin / Shutterstock.com


How to Turn an Idea into a ...

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