The Next Big Thing Is Us

Big, bold ideas used to come from small groups of experts. Now they come from you as well. Here's our annual look at what's new and innovative--from politics to movies, medicine to fashion, sports to tech

It goes against everybody's inner cynic to read (or for that matter to write) a sentence like the following: We are on the verge of the greatest age of creativity and innovation the world has ever known. It smacks of treacly dotcomism. It smacks of I Love the '90s. My inner cynic is a tiny bit queasy right now. But lately it's a conclusion I've had a hard time avoiding. Consider the following idea. Things, broadly speaking, used to be invented by a small, shadowy élite. This mysterious group might be called the People Who Happened to Be in the Room at the...