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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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Business Needs Cross-Disciplinary Learning

January 25, 2014, 7:00 AM

To succeed in business today you have to have the ability to understand a lot of different perspectives.  The best thing that anyone can do is to go out and listen to institutions and to people who are outside their comfort zone. 

I learned this very early on, for example, by going out and having the opportunity to visit with workers in Guatemala in apparel factories, in some very underprivileged neighborhoods outside of Guatemala City where I had the chance to see the women who were actually working in these factories, understand what their lives were like, see that they were taking care of children.  And it was only by being able to see what their lives were really about that I could understand how to ensure that working conditions could be improved.

That’s something you’re never going to learn in a traditional MBA program. But in fact by doing things like that it’s the only way to make good use of a traditional MBA program.  So that’s one example of how cross-disciplinary learning, listening to voices who may be outside the mainstream, actually is a crucial way to succeed in business in the 21st Century.  

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


Business Needs Cross-Discip...

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