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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 does service mean to you?

Queen Noor:    I…  It began in the early ‘60s.  I was growing up in Washington.  My father worked for President Kennedy.  And, for me, the ultimate career goal was the Peace Corps.  And while I never actually served in the Peace Corps, the inspiration of that time and of that movement in particular to serve, has motivated probably all my life and work since that time.  And I was very privileged to meet a man, many, many worlds away from where I was born who shared the same values and the same aspiration and commitment to public service that I had grown up with though we had grown up in such different environments.  King Hussein was that quintessential and unique actually middle Eastern leader for whom… who understood his role as a public servant and not as a more conventional ruler, if you will.  For him, it was about service, and that is what joined our hearts and then our work together.  So I was able to play a role in trying to bridge worlds and to take my experience prior to my marriage.  And then, the most important component that I have emphasized today and do throughout of listening and learning as I began my service as a public servant in the Middle East.  So my service began as a young woman marching and advocating for the mission of Martin Luther King and the [dreaming] of the Peace Corps in the United States in the ‘60s and then evolved into someone trying to bring these two worlds together and finding common ground in the Arab and the Muslim world with the values and ideals I’ve grown up within this country and it continues to this day.   


What does service mean to you?

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