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.

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

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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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Ideas are the New Widgets

August 15, 2013, 12:00 AM

Do you know what a “tiger mom” is? Does the phrase “the tipping point” immediately bring Malcolm Gladwell to mind? “Idea entrepreneurs,” argues John Butman in his new book Breaking Out: How to Build Influence in a World of Competing Ideas, are a new and influential breed, driven primarily by passion for an idea and the desire to spread it.

For two decades, Butman has been studying and working with idea entrepreneurs – finding out what makes them tick and how to help them share, develop, and sustain their ideas more effectively. Among the things he’s learned is the fact that while idea entrepreneurship can be lucrative (not movie-star-lucrative, typically, but lucrative...), successful idea entrepreneurs tend to be motivated by passion first, money second. Also, the most successful ideas don’t come out of nowhere – they’re usually a brilliant response to an ongoing conversation.

If you are an aspiring (or latent) idea entrepreneur, Butman’s new workshop on Big Think Mentor can help you avoid rookie mistakes and nurture your best ideas from inkling to global phenomenon.

Video: How to Succeed as an Idea Entrepreneur, with John Butman (free preview: full video available with subscription to Big Think Mentor).

With so many ideas competing for attention, a few succeed while a great many fail. In How to Succeed as an Idea Entrepreneur, his workshop for Big Think Mentor, John Butman teaches you why.

In this workshop, you’ll learn to:

  • Understand idea entrepreneurship and recognize its stirrings in yourself.

  • Isolate the ideas that fascinate you most.

  • Express the passion you feel for an idea, not just its content.

  • Let your idea “respire” as others adapt it to their own needs.

  • Build an organizational culture to sustain your idea

  • Transition your idea from a personal vision to an other-centered enterprise.




Image credit: Shutterstock.com


Ideas are the New Widgets

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