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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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Question: What is your job description?

David Steel: Yes. I'm responsible for Samsung's corporate marketing efforts in North America covering the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and then looking at all of their corporate marketing activities across all of their product lines.

Question: How did you rise to your current position?

David Steel: Sure. It probably sounds a lot more logical and a lot more rational looking back on things, but I grew up in England, went to school there and actually studied physics in college. I came to the States to get my PhD in physics, worked for three years doing federal government R&D, and then decided I was ready for a change. So, I went back to business school and then Samsung hired me. I moved to Korea where I spent the last ten years heading up marketing for consumer electronics globally and then just came to the U.S. about a year ago. So, it's been a strange mixture of some science and some business and lots of cultural issues mixed in, but it's been a great time.

Question: Based on your experience, what would you advise young people entering today’s business world?

David Steel: So, I think there's no substitute for real fundamentals. When I was taking physics, people used to question whether a science or a math would be useful for business or useful for a career outside science or math. Actually, it turns out to be very useful. Those sort of fundamental number skills and **** skills, problem solving, they are really important. So, first thing would say is go for a fundamental education. If it's science or if it's math, that will really help you later.

Probably the second thing would be, look for international opportunities. Business is becoming so global in nature that language skills and cross-cultural skills are becoming far more important. So, I would say, look for opportunities to work in different countries, to learn different languages, to understand how business is done in different countries. That would be important too.


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