What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

The Signing of the First Geneva Convention, 150 Years Ago Today

August 22, 2014, 7:00 PM

August 22, 1864: representatives from twelve European countries convene in Switzerland to sign the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field.

The above painting by Charles Édouard Armand-Dumaresq depicts the signing, which instituted international standards for the treatment of non-combatants during wartime. Protected parties included civilians, injured soldiers, hospitals and sanctuaries, and the 3-year-old International Red Cross. The signing nations (just in case you're keeping score) are listed below. You'll notice that since this was pre-1871, what we know now as Germany looked quite different back then.

-Grand Duchy of Baden (now Germany)
-Kingdom of Belgium
-Kingdom of Denmark
-French Empire
-Grand Duchy of Hesse (now Germany)
-Kingdom of Italy
-Kingdom of the Netherlands
-Kingdom of Portugal
-Kingdom of Prussia (now Germany)
-Kingdom of Spain
-Swiss Confederation
-Kingdom of Württemberg (now Germany)

As you probably know, the Geneva Convention has been revised several times in the years since 1864. The most current iteration, which was negotiated in 1949, has been ratified by 196 countries.

Here's what the original document looks like today:

The original Geneva Convention. Photo credit: Kevin Quinn

Photo credit: Kevin Quinn, Ohio, US - Flickr


The Signing of the First Ge...

Newsletter: Share: