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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Thinking Beyond Memes: The Macrotrends that Matter

May 30, 2013, 12:00 AM

All across the Internet, we see little memes popping up, and then petering out. A savvy Internet user might be able to use her intuition to spot the memes that have staying power, but identifying these memes in isolation, while perhaps interesting, is not very useful. 

"What makes it useful and what makes it actionable," says Terry Young, founder and CEO of sparks & honey, a data-driven advertising newsroom, "is when you cluster multiple things that look similar together and you begin to analyze the patterns and you begin to quantify it." 

In other words, when you are trying to spot a future trend you need to find an organizing principle that surounds it. Macrotrends, as Young explains in the video below, are like living, dynamic organisms. At sparks & honey, Young's team uses data analysis to track the subtle movements of 60 macrotrends. "We use those clusters in order to build content and build relevance for a brand," he says. 

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Image courtesy of Shutterstock


Thinking Beyond Memes: The ...

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