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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IdeaFeed Posts

Big ideas in the news from around the web

IdeaFeed

Cleaner Cars

Missing
over 4 years ago

New EPA standards will regulate greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks through 2016 requiring a base efficiency of 34 miles per gallon in six years' time. "The nation's first mandatory attempt to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions is now a fact—and it will show up in a driveway near you in ...

IdeaFeed

iWant iPad

Missing
over 4 years ago

Ahead of Saturday's iPad launch, CNN looks at Apple's new computer to answer questions and distinguish it from other computers already in our homes and offices. "You've seen the television commercials and the product reviews. But maybe, like many gadget lovers, you're still debating whether you ...

IdeaFeed

Glut Tax

Missing
over 4 years ago

Romanians flocking to burger joints in their post-communist gorge may soon be subject to a junk food tax intended to reduce national obesity rates and fill government coffers. "As a standard-bearer for healthy eating, Romania is not the first country that springs to mind. The eastern European nation ...

IdeaFeed

J-O-B-S

Missing
over 4 years ago

Hirings in manufacturing and health-care industries boosted the national payroll in March though companies were more likely to take on temporary workers than full-time employees. "Payrolls rose by 162,000 workers, the third gain in the past five months and the most since March 2007, figures from the ...

IdeaFeed

Quake, Then Investigate

Missing
over 4 years ago

The recent earthquake in Chile was the fifth largest ever recorded and the U.S. Geological Survey is investigating damaged buildings there to better understand our own California. "One immediate observation from Chile's earthquake that could find its way into US building code is on confining ...

IdeaFeed

The British Are Coming

Missing
over 4 years ago

U.K. law prohibits selecting the sex of your child unless serious medical issues are involved and this has Brits flocking to the U.S. to balance out their families. "So British couples wanting to choose the sex of their child must now go abroad, and the most common choice is the US, where sex ...

IdeaFeed

Area 51

Missing
over 4 years ago

Long denied by the government, former engineers and spies of Area 51 speak out publicly about working at the secret source of UFO folklore. "Area 51. It's the most famous military institution in the world that doesn't officially exist. If it did, it would be found about 100 miles outside Las Vegas ...

IdeaFeed

Racial Profiling

Missing
over 4 years ago

New U.S. airport security measures mark the end of broad national and racial profiling in favor of intelligence-based screening criteria. "Travellers will be picked out according to how closely they match intelligence on potential terrorist threats. A senior administration official, who spoke to ...

IdeaFeed

Dealing With Debt

Missing
over 4 years ago

David Brooks writes that the recession has helped teach Americans about the dangers of excessive debt, "but there’s probably going to have to be a public crusade -- like the ones against littering and smoking -- to hammer the point home. Think Warren Buffett TV spots. Think Oprah. Think Tom Hanks ...

IdeaFeed

Playing Defense

Missing
over 4 years ago

Some of the most innovative baseball teams have rebuilt their teams this year around an ascendant strategy that defense is the key to victory. It's not a new idea, but "it's the first teambuilding idea in some time to be embraced by all three of the sport's strongest constituencies -- the ...

IdeaFeed

Believe It or Not

Missing
over 4 years ago

Like Darwin, David Lewis-Williams doesn't think direct arguments against religion will have much effect on men unless they are gradually illuminated by science. So his book, "Conceiving God: the Cognitive Origin and Evolution of Religion," takes an incremental approach through the history of ...

IdeaFeed

Mapping the Seas

Missing
over 4 years ago

Researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have developed two new broadband acoustic systems that could represent a major improvement in how fish and other marine life are counted and classified. "If single frequency sensors provide an image of the ocean that is like looking at a black ...

IdeaFeed

Mommy Tracking

Missing
over 4 years ago

Twenty-one years ago, the term "mommy track" was born in a Harvard Business Review article by Felice N. Schwartz, who warned that inflexible working conditions at companies were causing them to lose many talented women. She suggested companies divide employees into two groups -- one which is focused ...

IdeaFeed

Hipsters in Winter

Missing
over 4 years ago

Despite the publication of a new book by Williamsburg comedian Joe Mande making fun of the culture of "white 20-somethings dressed in skinny jeans and lumberjack shirts, and wearing thick-rimmed glasses," the age of the hipster seems to be winding down. Thomas Rogers talks to Mande about his book ...

IdeaFeed

Tilting at Windmills

Missing
over 4 years ago

Edith Grossman found trying to translate Miguel de Cervantes' 400-year old masterpiece "Don Quixote" into modern English somewhat... Quixotic: "The doubts and paradoxical questions that pursue translators must also arise for authors: Is their text an inevitable betrayal of the imagination and the ...