This article is from Issue 50: Mar/Apr 2011

50 Ideas That Changed Everything

(In the last 8 years)

In March 2003, we set out to make a magazine that gave voice to the conversations defining the lives and worldview of our generation.

We wanted to show how God is moving today, but also grapple with big faith questions. We wanted to deal with the real-life issues college students, twentysomethings and thirtysomethings were facing but no other magazine would touch with a 10-foot pole. And we wanted to dissect the most innovative parts of culture, particularly the areas where God kept popping up.

It’s now 50 issues later. And those are the conversations we’re still having—things have just changed and evolved along the way. The past eight years have surprised us, saddened us and given us hope, often all at the same time. The following pages show the 50 big ideas we think have changed everything since our first issue. They span what we’ve always covered—from social justice to pop culture, and from faith to politics to life.

In the past 2,922 days, everything has changed. Here’s how.

Simply put? In the last eight years, the Internet changed everything—and faster than ever: the way we watch TV, buy music, learn about movies and even read books. But that’s not the only thing that’s changed. Here are 11 other ways culture has rapidly evolved.

CULTURE

01 We don't need no stinkin' label

When did the major record labels die? Was it in 2004, when the “Big Five” (Warner, EMI, Sony, BMG and Universal) became the “Big Four”? Was it the rise of Napster? iTunes? When copies of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s self-released debut reached the shelves of Target? Regardless, it’s pretty obvious the music scene is vastly different now than it was in 2003. Smaller, niche labels have claimed a much bigger slice of the music world—it’s why both Arcade Fire and Vampire Weekend hit number-one in 2010. Bands are also using sites like Bandcamp and SoundCloud to release music directly to their fans—with or without a label. There might never be another artist who sells a million albums in a week, but it’s hard to argue that 2011 isn’t an even more exciting time for music than 2003.

02 People care about other people's stories—a lot