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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 lessons have you learned from this recession?

Don Tapscott: The financial services industry needs a lot more than a fresh infusion of capital and new regulation. It needs a whole new modus operandi where integrity is baked into the DNA of the industry. Principles like interdependence and emergence and transparency and self-organization. These are the new design principles for our 20th century institutions.

If you look at the challenges facing any individual business, or government or whatever, in this much broader context, you're not going to just slash and burn as we have done in traditional recessions. You're going to stand back, think strategically and think about where does our business needs to go to compete and to be successful in this environment.

Question: How is the recession impacting the way companies do business?

Don Tapscott: I think it's causing us to think very differently about everything, like marketing. I don't think you should focus on your customers. You should engage them and co-innovate with them. You shouldn't build products or services, you should create customer experiences. You shouldn't try to build your brand as an image, a word in mind, a promise, a badge. That's not what the brand is anymore. The brand is becoming a complex construct where integrity is at the foundation of it, and a relationship is more important than an image.

The four Ps of marketing--product, place, price and promotion--these are all completely inadequate to understand how to compete in this environment.


Recorded on: June 9th, 2009.



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