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

Empty Your Mind: Here's How

June 5, 2014, 3:37 PM

Do you want to be more effective and attract desired outcomes? The ancient Chinese did, too. They devoted themselves to understanding wu wei—effortless action, or spontaneity. They saw it as one of the highest spiritual achievements.

In this 5-part Big Think Mentor workshop, Chinese thought expert Edward Slingerland and the author of the critically acclaimed Trying Not to Try: The Art and Science of Spontaneity, teaches you how to understand and work towards a state of wu wei.

For a limited time, Big Think is giving away access to one of his workshops: “Forget About It: The Wu-Wei of Zhuangzi.” Subscribe to Big Think Mentor today for a free 14-day trial to gain access to other exclusive workshops with leading thinkers. Learn a variety of skills and new insights.

For instance, we hear a great deal about the health benefits of meditation. But how does one apply meditation to business situations and when facing challenges? As a cognitive scientist, Slingerland answers these questions in his Big Think Mentor workshop by taking you through the neuroscience of ancient Chinese philosophies. You’ll learn what it means to empty one’s mind, even in the fiercely competitive world of business.

In the wu-wei of the ancient Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi, Slingerland explains how he believed that our learned culture separates us from perceiving the world correctly. Therefore, we must learn to forget and not see through the lens of our biases. As Slingerland explains, “Making yourself empty and receptive to the other person or the situation you’re engaged in is actually the most effective way to move through the world.”

Sign up for a free 14-day trial to Big Think Mentor today.


Empty Your Mind: Here's How

Newsletter: Share: