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.

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World Renowned Bloggers


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

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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.

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Are You Standing in Your Own Way? (with Sir Ken Robinson)

July 12, 2013, 1:30 PM

Perhaps the most powerful contribution of cognitive psychology to human understanding has been its careful mapping out of the many ways in which we self-deceive.  Our minds are expert confabulators, instantaneously able to invent details and frameworks to account for gaps in our knowledge or preserve our emotional equilibrium. For this reason, says Sir Ken Robinson, we are often, unbeknownst to ourselves, the biggest obstacle to our own happiness. Faced with opportunity, many of us react with fear – a protective response generalized from earlier, unrelated experiences. “The real issue,” says Robinson, “is for people to think hard about what’s getting in their way. Is it their circumstances that are stopping them or is it their reading of their circumstances?”

Robinson should know. His own father was paralyzed from the neck down at the age of 45. “But that wasn’t the end of his life,” says Robinson, “and it wasn’t the end of our family. And I mean, he had a tremendously positive outlook. He wasn’t some Pollyanna figure, he was just a very strong-minded person, very funny, very sardonic, and wonderful company.” In session 7 of How to Find Your Element, his new workshop for Big Think Mentor, Robinson examines the attitudinal blocks that hold us back and offers tools for overcoming them.

Video: Why Attitude is Everything, with Sir Ken Robinson – full video available with paid subscription to Big Think Mentor

In How to Find Your Element, his 7-session workshop for Big Think Mentor, creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson tackles the epidemic of dissatisfaction with work and life. He offers practical exercises and tips for discovering your “element” – the environment and set of activities that will activate your unique abilities, sustain your happiness, and enable you to live your best possible life.

In this workshop, you’ll learn to:

- Understand the concept and the value of “finding your element”

- Recognize the perils and promise of the two-fold (internal and external) path to finding your element.  

- Discover your specific talents

- Identify your passions (which may differ from your talents)

- Take steps to ensure that your attitude and beliefs are steering you toward (rather than away from) your element.


Image Credit: Shutterstock.com



Are You Standing in Your Ow...

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