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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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Innovating the Concept of Innovation

February 17, 2012, 4:50 PM

What's the Latest Development?

Some of the world's most innovative organizations gathered last week in Washington DC to discuss American competitiveness and what could be a new understanding of innovation itself. DARPA, the military's experimental R&D wing which is working on a glider that can reach New York from California in 11 minutes, says its key to innovation is 'mashing together basic sciences and driving application'. That means finding educated people who also have a strong desire to make new things.

What's the Big Idea?

At the conference, Google agreed that innovation is a byproduct of investment in human capital. The way they see it, a single high school dropout could cost the nation essential life-saving technology. "And the idea of innovation itself—beyond the people, the inventions and the technology—needs to change. We have to break a long-standing impression that innovation is this ethereal thing." While there is no formula for innovation, we know that we can at least bring together important elements to increase the likelihood of big advances.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com



Innovating the Concept of I...

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