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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.

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Consumers Want to Make the World a Better Place

March 3, 2014, 12:00 AM

"We think of water being available, as being free, as being a human right. And yet at the same time, we abuse the availability of water," says Peter Thum, the founder of Ethos, a company that sells expensive bottled water to help third world countries have clean drinking water. Consumers can enjoy a bottle of his fresh H20 and help people in need at the same time.

Thum tapped into a universal desire to make a positive impact on the planet. In 2005, he sold Ethos to Starbucks for $7.7 million. In our latest installment of Big Think's Edge, Thum explains how to launch a successful company that leaves a lasting legacy of good. Profits and helping make the world a better place can have a happy marriage. 

The inspiration behind Ethos water came from using consumer behavior to tackle a social issue. The brand was developed to fund the cause and to communicate its goal of providing clean drinking water to places that need it most. It turned out to be a big hit among consumers, and, of course, it earned the attention of Starbucks. 

Companies should experiment and strive to produce socially-conscious products, says Thum. Neither Ethos or the Toyota Prius, for instance, are perfect solutions to a problem. But they do move the technology in the right direction. Social and environmental factors play into people's decisions to buy these products and therefore create a new market. The result is competition and improvements on an imperfect technology.

Do you want to learn how to make money and make a difference? 

Watch the video below and sign up for your free trial to Big Think Edge today.



Consumers Want to Make the ...

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