A New Marketplace of Ideas

October 13, 2010
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Idea-ExchangeAs a student of history and philosophy, I’ve long been intrigued by the “marketplace of ideas” espoused by John Milton, Thomas Jefferson and Oliver Wendell Holmes. Each argued against censorship because in an open, public forum the best ideas—philosophical, economic or political—would rise to the top in the light of reason.

Idea-ExchangeAs a student of history and philosophy, I’ve long been intrigued by the “marketplace of ideas” espoused by John Milton, Thomas Jefferson and Oliver Wendell Holmes. Each argued against censorship because in an open, public forum the best ideas—philosophical, economic or political—would rise to the top in the light of reason. Meanwhile, inferior ones would wither and fall away under the scrutiny of that same light.

 

With the emergence of the Internet and social media, public discussion is more accessible and viewpoints more diverse than ever before. This is evidenced by Teradata CMO Darryl McDonald’s Socialization of Data website. It features McDonald’s and other thought leaders’ views on the emergence of new information channels.

 

At the same time, its Idea Exchange offers a forum for sharing ideas about the intersection of business and technology. People have posted dozens of ideas, like establishing a universal customer loyalty card to replace the myriad individual cards from various businesses like airlines, retailers, etc.

 

Participants in the forum can vote on their favorites, suggest enhancements, or propose their own ideas. And those who sign up and propose a new idea by Oct. 15 will have a chance to win an iPad.

 

No idea is too big or too small in this new social media marketplace. It’s an opportunity for each of us to open our minds to the possibilities and power of technology, thought leadership, and collaboration.

 

Mike Westholder
Managing Editor
Teradata Magazine