Ideas That Make A Difference

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Photograph by Peter Hapak for TIME

What is a big idea? Monotheism. That's a big idea. The universe is expanding. That's a big idea. But in planning our sixth annual 10 Ideas issue, we looked for vexing problems that had compelling solutions. Why do some young nations thrive and others fail? When a robotic car crashes, who is responsible? We offer 10 solutions for problems you might not even know existed. Scientists are creating lab-grown meat, which would cut down on the 9 billion animals killed for food each year in the U.S. Four decades after Title IX, companies are creating toys that fight gender stereotypes. The best way to improve health may be not to go to the doctor but to have the doctor in you. Can't find or afford an apartment in the city? What if it's only 250 sq. ft.? Fareed Zakaria argues that the key requirement for a new democracy to flourish is not elections but a constitution. Jon Meacham writes that the way for a religion to replenish its faithful is not to become softer and more relative but to be aggressive and more evangelical. The package was edited by Dan Macsai, who found many office recruits to test those stereotype-fighting toys, and designed by April Bell, who helped bring the ideas to life on the page. On the cover is Pope Francis, the first Pope from the New World. The tale behind his election and the implications of the choice is explored by our top Vatican watcher, Howard Chua-Eoan.

Richard Stengel, MANAGING EDITOR