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

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

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
Close

IdeaFeed Posts

Big ideas in the news from around the web

IdeaFeed

The Global Language

Missing
over 4 years ago

"Globish" is a highly simplified form of English, without grammar or structure—but perfectly comprehensible. Robert McCrum writes that the term is "more than just a new word for a dialect or an international communication tool. It was a description of a lingua franca, but with a difference. On ...

IdeaFeed

Faking It

Missing
over 4 years ago

"Fake medical treatment can work amazingly well," writes Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow. "For a range of ailments, from pain and nausea to depression and Parkinson’s disease, placebos—whether sugar pills, saline injections, or sham surgery—have often produced results that rival those of standard therapies ...

IdeaFeed

The Next Energy

Missing
over 4 years ago

Over the past decade, a wave of drilling around the world has uncovered giant supplies of natural gas in shale rock. We've always known the potential of shale; we just didn't have the technology to get to it at a low enough cost. Now new techniques have driven down the price tag—and set the stage ...

IdeaFeed

Going Off the Grid

Missing
over 4 years ago

"What constitutes status and -- being bold here -- sex appeal in the land of the eternally wireless?" asks Ellen Ruppel Shell. "Possible answer: the opportunity to go through an entire morning, train ride, even day, with no technology-enabled distractions at all! ... Imagine going long, luxurious ...

IdeaFeed

Resisting Reform

Missing
over 4 years ago

Michael W. Hudson cites a growing body of evidence that "fraud and predatory lending were open secrets in the mortgage business—and that finance executives condoned and encouraged an array of shady tactics in the hunt for bigger profits." As Washington hashes out financial reform, he writes ...

IdeaFeed

What Is Creativity?

Missing
over 4 years ago

Testing for creativity, and its corresponding physical attributes in the brain, requires defining the term, but creativity is not so easily broken down. "'Creativity is kind of like pornography — you know it when you see it,' said Rex Jung, a research scientist at the Mind Research Network in ...

IdeaFeed

Hawking's Warning

Missing
over 4 years ago

The Journal of Cosmology has gathered responses from the scientific community to Stephen Hawking's warning about colonial aliens—one biologist even wrote a limerick. "Blair Csuti, a biologist at Oregon State University, defended Hawking's trepidation, arguing that the principles of evolution would ...

IdeaFeed

Fire v. Fire

Missing
over 4 years ago

"You can fight fire with fire," says Steve Chapman at the Chicago Tribune who is bothered by an overly reactive American culture, "As a rule, though, it's better to use water." "Lately, Americans seem to be taking advice from Oscar Wilde, who said, "Moderation is a fatal thing." Stupidity can be met ...

IdeaFeed

A Dose of Spring

Missing
over 4 years ago

A new study show that just five minutes in a natural, green environment—rather than an urban one—can improve our mood and self-esteem. "The study shows, for example, that being in a green environment is better than being in an urban one in terms of a measurable positive effect on blood pressure ...

IdeaFeed

Countdown...

Missing
over 4 years ago

A new U.N. report says that one in three plant and animal species face extinction given the rate of human production and consumption. "The report is one of the starkest issued by the UN and the decision to draw an explicit link between extinction rates and economic growth makes it politically ...

IdeaFeed

Legal Malpractice

Missing
over 4 years ago

Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, thinks the influence of pharmaceutical companies has grown too large in our academic institutions. "The boundaries between academic medicine—medical schools, teaching hospitals, and their faculty—and the pharmaceutical ...

IdeaFeed

Arctic Anarchy?

Missing
over 4 years ago

Melting ice caps in the Arctic are creating new trade routes and exposing untouched natural resources, but just who is filling the legal and political vacuum of the North? "A State Department official said that while Arctic policy seems to be spread thin throughout the federal government, there is a ...

IdeaFeed

Censorship

Missing
over 4 years ago

The Guardian reports that unaccountable Middle Eastern governments limit freedom of the press by creating threats real and imaginary to justify their habit of censorship. "So, why is press freedom so seriously compromised in the Arab world? There are different reasons in different countries, but one ...

IdeaFeed

Deglobalization

Missing
over 4 years ago

Ian Bremmer says the financial crisis is putting the brakes on the expansion of free-markets and accelerating the development of "state capitalism". "Globalization has been the dominant driver of international politics and global markets for a generation. But in several countries around the world ...

IdeaFeed

3-D Fever

Missing
over 4 years ago

Despite the TV industry's efforts to push 3-D televisions, the technology may be best suited to cinemas where people can devote their full attention to the screen, writes the Economist. "Three-dimensional television is coming whether you want it or not. But after the novelty has worn off, it is ...