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LinkedIn's 'influencers' make big predictions for 2013

What will next year bring? Richard Branson thinks the legalization of drugs will be a hot topic, while Craig Newmark believes it will be trustworthy news.

LinkedIn's influencers.

With Usain Bolt breaking records in the Olympics, Superstorm Sandy striking out electricity on the East Coast, and the highly anticipated releases of Apple's iPhone 5 and Microsoft's Windows 8 this year, it's hard not to think about what next year will bring.

In anticipation of the New Year, LinkedIn has asked several leaders and CEOs in the business community to make some predictions for 2013. Dubbed "Big Ideas 2013," the social-networking site for professionals has created a package of more than 60 original posts from these leaders on their upcoming forecasts.

While Richard Branson -- founder of Virgin -- talks about drugs being legalized, Craig Newmark -- Craigslist's founder -- opines on news people can trust. Blogger Boris van Zanten discusses the Web growing up and entrepreneur Ilya Pozin talks about the bubble bursting for start-ups.

This package of ideas is the next phase of LinkedIn's "influencer" program. The social network introduced the program in October, which features more than 150 industry leaders and has hundreds of posts from the professional community. Additionally, all LinkedIn members can subscribe to follow these influencers. As of this writing, the program has 6 million people follows and just last week Richard Branson became the first influencer to hit one million followers.

Besides making New Year predictions, "Big Ideas 2013" is also meant to be a resource guide for LinkedIn members by looking at the business community and industry and career trends.