Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

Forbes and The Big Issue

Rodes Fishburne: I was lucky to be hired as an editor at a magazine called Forbes ASAP, which is a technology magazine at Forbes, and I got a front row seat of the internet bubble because I was there in the late 1990s, early 2000s, one of the things The Big Issue did was once a year they put together a special issued called The Big Issue, very modest, and we would ask the finest writers and thinkers in the world to write an essay for us about a single theme.

Sometimes the theme was time and how time is changing; sometimes the theme was convergence and how these different worlds, science and religion, business and art, night and day, are all converging in this modern world we live in. One year the theme was the pursuit of happiness, and The Big Issue was my project, and I was the editor of that, and so I had the good opportunity to work with some wonderful writers, people like Gore Vidal and Kurt Vonnegut, the Dahli Lama, John Updike, add Bill Gates, and it was an extraordinary experience and I felt like this Big Issue was a way of giving people something more substantive to think about because it took us a long time to put it together, it took about six to eight months.

And what we ended up with was a 250-page magazine that was full of really substantial interesting essays by a range of people that you would have never expected to see together, and the response was overwhelming. We were one of the most read magazines playing in that space and I was just so delighted and honored to be part of it.

 

Question: What was your editing process?

Rodes Fishburne: Well, there would be a fair amount of talking and vetting when you were talking to them about this, so if I was talking to somebody and I said, I remember going to Kurt Vonnegut and saying we are doing this special issue on convergence and we would love for you to do a piece on the convergence of East and West Germany, which was a nice sweet spot for him and he instantly got it and had a sense of what he wanted to do with it, and so you had sort of these preliminary discussions, but sometimes you would take it to a very well known writer and they would not deliver, it wasn’t quite what you were hoping for, and the funny thing was when you went back to them and said, I’m sorry, Mr. Big Shot, but this is not quite what we were looking for, they always knew that, they always knew it did not quite work.

And I remember a couple of times doing that and them then getting very competitive with themselves and sitting down and doing something, again, that was much stronger than their first thing. So it was about drawing a line and getting these people to sort of come to the table.

But in our culture of side bars and sound bites and very short little pieces, almost to a man and woman, everybody who worked and wrote for The Big Issue was so excited to even be involved because there really is not anything, or has not been anything like it, a place where you can do a sustained piece of writing on a single topic, and it was not like they were fielding ten offers to do things like this, so there was a natural enthusiasm to participate that really went a long way to getting the best work out of them.

 

 Recorded on: June 3, 2008.

Rodes Fishburne describes the conception and process of compiling essays from the world's greatest minds.

Live on Tuesday | Personal finance in the COVID-19 era

Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.

Bubonic plague case reported in China

Health officials in China reported that a man was infected with bubonic plague, the infectious disease that caused the Black Death.

(Photo by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Getty Images)
Coronavirus
  • The case was reported in the city of Bayannur, which has issued a level-three plague prevention warning.
  • Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
  • Chinese health officials are also monitoring a newly discovered type of swine flu that has the potential to develop into a pandemic virus.
Keep reading Show less

Education vs. learning: How semantics can trigger a mind shift

The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.

Future of Learning
  • The terms 'education' and 'learning' are often used interchangeably, but there is a cultural connotation to the former that can be limiting. Education naturally links to schooling, which is only one form of learning.
  • Gregg Behr, founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, believes that this small word shift opens up the possibilities in terms of how and where learning can happen. It also becomes a more inclusive practice, welcoming in a larger, more diverse group of thinkers.
  • Post-COVID, the way we think about what learning looks like will inevitably change, so it's crucial to adjust and begin building the necessary support systems today.
Keep reading Show less

How DNA revealed the woolly mammoth's fate – and what it teaches us today

Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Surprising Science

Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.

Keep reading Show less

Why is everyone so selfish? Science explains

The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.

Credit: Adobe Stock, Olivier Le Moal.
Personal Growth
  • Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
  • New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
  • Times of crisis tend to increase self-centered acts.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast