In Fast Company's first decade, we introduced readers to a lot of amazingly smart people. To launch our second, we asked 10 of our favorite brains what's next--and how to get ready for it.

"Business has to find its national voice. It has to be engaged in the politics of this country in a way it's not accustomed to," Gladwell says, pointing to health care and immigration as two issues key to future competitiveness.

"There seems to be a growing culture of incompetence where who knows whom and who likes whom weigh more than getting the job done... How will American business face the challenge of the rising economies of China and India? Those nations are emphasizing skill and a proven track record."

"Fewer and fewer people will want to be employees of corporations, because corporations don't have anything to offer. Corporations don't provide security and provide fewer and fewer benefits.... I can imagine eBay or the equivalent of eBay being in the business of letting people bid on work all day long."

"You have to engage consumers emotionally, tell them a story, so they lean in and get involved. That's the challenge for business going forward."

"The next generation of computing is 'intelligent computing,' based on the same principles as the human neocortex.... Intelligent computing could be used in image identification, data mining, security, automobile safety, robotics, and ultimately natural-language processing."

"The online world has eroded business's power.... When [people] walk into a Wal-Mart, they're going to want to know how a product was made and under what conditions. They will assume they have the right to ask because they can do so on the Web."

"Teams in business will be thinking about problems as design problems and tackling them like designers.... Essentially, any business problem that has an audience and a tangible outcome is a candidate for design thinking."

"You have to assume everything is an open book. You better not have anything going on that if it were known, we'd be ashamed of. When there are fewer secrets, there is greater motivation to do the right thing. That's driving business. There's greater accountability."

"I have to figure out if Dilbert's going to move to India or not. The only people who will have jobs in the United States are people with creative jobs, or something that has to do with communication and sales. And more people are going to be working at home."