Your suggestion to create a web of ideas resonates with me in several ways. First, one of my advisors as I pursued my Ph.D. dissertation suggested that the advanced degree that I sought would prepare me to explore and and learn beyond my formal education. Framing the issue to explore, combining the literature review, planning the method of gathering data then reflecting on the intersection of what I observed has, as you noted, given me a method of creating a web of ideas. Second, my eclectic approach to content input by reading a wide variety of articles and books and more recently viewing content rich videos has given me a web of ideas to consider. And third, my current involvement as curator of a TEDx event has given me an incredible web of ideas through the presentations we ultimately put on our stage.
One of my favorite TED presentations by Matt Ridley from TED Global 2010 puts it another way.
Thank you for your thought provoking look at solving problems.