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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Cornering History Posts

Putting Events and Big Ideas in the Context of History

Cornering History

Creative Destruction

over 1 year ago

Creative Destruction.  When you first hear this term, it seems somewhat counterintuitive or oxymoronic. On a second go round; you might wonder why we need to create destruction or why that destruction needs to be creative. Joseph Schumpeter (1883-1950) first coined creative destruction in his ...

Cornering History

The Changing Entrepreneur

over 1 year ago

The word entrepreneur is tossed around a lot today, but it’s meaning changes depending on the context.  The concept was first introduced in 1723 by French economist Richard Cantillon but was more clearly articulated, codified, and coined in the writings of Jean Baptiste Say beginning in 1803 ...

Cornering History

The Lessons of Civic Republicanism

over 1 year ago

Thomas Jefferson is known as the author of the Declaration of Independence, and the articulator of the separation of church and state. These high profile accomplishments tend to overshadow his other important contributions. For example, Civic Republicanism is a Jeffersonian notion that deserves our ...

Cornering History

Children of Light or Darkness?

over 1 year ago

When Reinhold Niebuhr wrote The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness in 1944, he was discussing democracy, which was coming under attack during world war two.  He did this through the articulation of his children of light and children of darkness. The children of light are the ...

Cornering History

Voting unRighted

over 1 year ago

What is that classic phrase?  The one we use to describe a system that is seemingly moving forward, but always ends up moving backwards?  Is it “one step forward, two steps back”? Sometimes it seems like the US is stuck in reverse. Every once in awhile, we take a step towards equality, a step ...

Cornering History

Ransoming the US

over 1 year ago

In the 1960’s, John Crowe Ransom looked back at the post Civil War South, and discussed how at the time the South was Reconstructed and Unregenerate. The South had just had the practices of slavery abolished, so they were rebuilding the infrastructure that they had, but with one slight ...

Cornering History

Is It Really All About Supply?

over 1 year ago

As a staunch follower of Adam Smith, Jean-Baptiste Say aligned himself with the tradition of classical political economy.  However, he quickly diverged from Smith, creating his own brand of economics. This new definition centered around, what today is called, supply side economics. We’ve all heard ...