This article locates Norton's foundational work on identity and investment within the social turn of applied linguistics. It discusses its historical impetus and theoretical anchors, and it illustrates how these ideas have been taken up in recent scholarship. In response to the demands of the new world order, spurred by technology and characterized by mobility, it proposes a comprehensive model of investment, which occurs at the intersection of identity, ideology, and capital. The model recognizes that the spaces in which language acquisition and socialization take place have become increasingly deterritorialized and unbounded, and the systemic patterns of control more invisible. This calls for new questions, analyses, and theories of identity. The model addresses the needs of learners who navigate their way through online and offline contexts and perform identities that have become more fluid and complex. As such, it proposes a more comprehensive and critical examination of the relationship between identity, investment, and language learning. Drawing on two case studies of a female language learner in rural Uganda and a male language learner in urban Canada, the model illustrates how structure and agency, operating across time and space, can accord or refuse learners the power to speak.