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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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Zachary E. Posen. Where I was born shaped me to be exposed to a veritable amount of different circumstances; different types of creation; interaction with people on the street; and many different cultural influences. My main influences for me were my father, Steven Posen, who is a painter and artist and painted in my house where I grew up in Soho; and probably Jim Henson, Walt Disney, Julie Taymor. My mom was a continuous, continual champion, and was incredibly passionate about my academic travels. I think probably admiring the binding on a blue baby blanket . . . on a fleece blanket with a blue trim with the little sort of grided stitch on the edge was sort of my first experience with fashion. And then through play and through dress up with my sister Alexandra. Well it was like a visceral sensuality. It was protection. It was my baby blanket. So it’s that . . . it’s that form of protection and expression, and drape and movement. My father also was painting photo realist paintings with fabric. So the idea of drape and something that sort of becomes 2-D from 3-D was sort of a big influence in growing up. And then just seeing people on the street in New York. I think playing with clay, and with dolls, and theater. And then having incredible women around me all the time who were sort of strong, powerful, intelligent women. And sort of understanding the role of fashion – how it makes you feel; how it empowers you; how it can transform you or elevate you to have an experience that you did not previously think you could have. I made a tie skirt with my sister. I think that began the beginning of repetition, and pleating, and using drape and pleating as symbols of power. I thought that I’d either be baking, singing or creating theater To interact with people, and to be able to explore these different kind of female archetypes and characters. Well you never know. You constantly question your talent at it. You just sort of have to persevere. Being an artist and a creator, you’re constantly questioning your purpose and reasoning for creating.
 

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