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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: Beyond a simple title, how would you describe what you do for a living?

Rosabeth Moss Kanter: What I do for a living is I try to make a difference in the world. And I realize that's not very specific and I should pin it down a bit. But I am very interested in how we make the systems around us work to produce benefits for the people in them and the people that they serve. That's always been very important. I work with large companies, some of the most important global giants in the world. But I … I work with them about change, about transformation, about a positive impact. I've always stood for empowerment of people. And I do this through a combination of ways. It's the words I say and the words that I put in other people's mouths, because I get quoted frequently. I's through direct advice, doing research and projects for particular organizations. It's through my students at Harvard Business School and occasionally at Harvard College … the undergraduates that I influence. It's through my faculty colleagues. Now I'm working with faculty from public health and education, law, government and business on a new project where we think we can deploy leaders at later stages in their lives to solve key problems of the world in poverty, education, public health, environment. So … so I get a chance to work in all those domains, but I work through helping leaders become better leaders of major institutions.

Recorded on: 6/13/07

 

 

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