How to Turn an Idea into a Movement

Here are some ways to make your idea into a full blown movement. Get the public involved early and often, and make advertising campaigns directed at civic organizations. 

What's the Latest Development?

Late last year, TED announced its annual prize would go to an idea rather than an individual. That idea was the City 2.0. In June, the ten best ideas on how to make cities better places to live will receive a slice of the $100,000 in prize money. So how can the prize move beyond a one-off project and become an international movement? Project leaders should seek to involve as wide a public as possible, soliciting ideas from just about anyone. Those ideas which are feasible should be implemented as quickly as possible, with an eye toward leveraging any new concepts that emerge from not-entirely-successful ideas. 

What's the Big Idea?

When it comes to making a single idea into a wider movement, one should not forget the powerful effect of advertising. Print and social media campaigns that reach out "to civic organizations, the academic community and the planning and design professions should be blasted early and often to keep the awareness and interest at a pitched level." And once people are made aware of an issue, a human-centered story is often essential to making a call to action effective. Thanks to social media's low costs, new campaigns can be disseminated regularly that turn people's focus to one particular part of a larger idea. 

Photo credit: Lev Radin /

Ideology drives us apart. Neuroscience can bring us back together.

A guide to making difficult conversations possible—and peaceful—in an increasingly polarized nation.

  • How can we reach out to people on the other side of the divide? Get to know the other person as a human being before you get to know them as a set of tribal political beliefs, says Sarah Ruger. Don't launch straight into the difficult topics—connect on a more basic level first.
  • To bond, use icebreakers backed by neuroscience and psychology: Share a meal, watch some comedy, see awe-inspiring art, go on a tough hike together—sharing tribulation helps break down some of the mental barriers we have between us. Then, get down to talking, putting your humanity before your ideology.
  • The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
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WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
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