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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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Transcript

Question: What do you do?

Tom Freston: Well I’m in a new stage of my life, and I just spent 20 years in the media business – media entertainment business – at MTV Networks and Viacom. And I’ve been out of there about a year, and I’m doing a bunch of different things now. I set up my own company called Firefly 3, and I’m doing . . . It’s a very small company. It’s me and one other person at the time, but I’m doing everything from writing, to non-profit work, to investing in some small companies, to working on developments of a movie or two – some creative projects. I’m also on very boards – DreamWorks Animation, the American Museum of Natural History, Emerson College. The non-profit work that I do, I do with a group called One Data and Red funded by Gates Foundation. Work with Bono, it’s really about sort of advocacy and fundraising work for extreme poor, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. So it’s sort of a basket of things that for now are things that I’m very personally driven by and am enjoying a great deal.Well the struggle is always just keeping up. No matter what you do, and it’s true of a lot of people, your . . . your day seems to fill up. It’s really . . . A lot of the struggle is just about time management, I find. There’s an endless amount of people that you wanna talk to or wanna talk to you. And the more you’re networked, it kind of exponentially rises. So how do you best manage your time and still have some time leftover for sort of your non-personal . . . you non-professional life as it were.

Recorded On: 7/6/07

 

Tom Freston: What do you do?

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