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

Nuclear Leaks

Missing
over 4 years ago

“The nuclear industry, once an environmental pariah, is recasting itself as green as it attempts to extend the life of many power plants and build new ones. But a leak of radioactive water at Vermont Yankee, along with similar incidents at more than 20 other US nuclear plants in recent years, has ...

IdeaFeed

Tension Gulf

Missing
over 4 years ago

The United States has exacerbated tensions with Iran by selling anti-missile systems to Washington’s Arab allies in the Gulf region.The United States has raised tensions with Iran by selling anti-missile systems to Washington’s Arab allies in the Gulf region. “The Obama Administration said yesterday ...

IdeaFeed

Voodoo Children

Missing
over 4 years ago

The old religion of Voodoo is rising from the rubble in Haiti as, in the aftermath of one of the world’s worst earthquakes, priests and missionaries compete for the souls of the survivors. “Every evening, Monique Henri offers thanks to the voodoo deity Ogu Feray at a shrine in her home for sparing ...

IdeaFeed

Remember Healthcare?

Missing
over 4 years ago

Democrats once again court Senator Olympia Snowe looking for Republican support after the Massachusetts election setback. "Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) said Friday that she has been in conversation with Democrats and Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus about a way forward on health care reform. 'I ...

IdeaFeed

China: The New OPEC

Missing
over 4 years ago

China produces more renewable energy technology and equipment than any country in the world despite the West's redoubled efforts. "China vaulted past competitors in Denmark, Germany, Spain, and the United States last year to become the world’s largest maker of wind turbines, and is poised to expand ...

IdeaFeed

Do-Gooders Held

Missing
over 4 years ago

Ten Americans are being held by Haitian authorities after they attempted to leave the country with 33 children who didn't have passports. "Ten Americans were detained by Haitian police on Saturday as they tried to bus 33 children across the border into the Dominican Republic, allegedly without ...

IdeaFeed

Fusion Hopes

Missing
over 4 years ago

Experiments using levitating magnets at MIT mimic the earth's magnetic fields and make clearer the possibility of energy through fusion. “Fusion has been a cherished goal of physicists and energy researchers for more than 50 years. That's because it offers the possibility of nearly endless supplies ...

IdeaFeed

Literary Backlog

Missing
over 4 years ago

It is thought that J.D. Salinger has written as many as ten unpublished novels that now, with his passing, may eventually see the light of day. “Was JD Salinger best known, in later years, for being the most celebrated literary recluse in the world? After 1965, he withdrew from engagement with the ...

IdeaFeed

Tea Time?

Missing
over 4 years ago

After the withdrawal of two State Representatives, the first-ever tea party convention is facing some infighting over how to organize the event. "With conservative firebrand Sarah Palin headlining, it’s been billed as an event to fuse and celebrate the tenets of the disparate ‘tea party’ movement ...

IdeaFeed

Superbowl Side Plot

Missing
over 4 years ago

TV commercials relating to abortion and a gay dating website that have been scheduled to appear during the Super Bowl are causing CBS to navigate an ideological mine field. "This year, the Super Bowl will be jollified by a side-plot that perhaps reflects the true state of the nation: an angry ...

IdeaFeed

Mideast Buildup

Missing
over 4 years ago

The Obama Administration is moving to put missile defense technology in Persian Gulf countries to deter Iran, a move that will require the presence of more U.S. troops in the region. "The Obama administration has increased the U.S. military presence near Iran and is accelerating installation of ...

IdeaFeed

Solar Cells

Missing
over 4 years ago

New solar cells that mimic photosynthesis are reaching the marketplace and being put in unusual places in order to recharge electrical devices like cell phones. "A new solar cell that imitates Mother Nature’s way of converting sunlight to energy is making its debut in a variety of consumer products ...

IdeaFeed

Gandhi Returns

Missing
over 4 years ago

Some of the Indian Independence leader Mahatma Gandhi's ashes have been scattered into the ocean off the coast of South Africa 62 years after his death. "The ashes were sprinkled on to the Indian Ocean in a Hindu ceremony attended by about 200 people to mark the 62nd anniversary of Gandhi's death ...

IdeaFeed

Big Boost

Missing
over 4 years ago

Consumers and manufacturers helped the GDP grow nearly six percent last quarter, the highest growth rate in as many years. “The surge in U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter depended on more than manufacturing and investment. Households also played their part. Gross domestic product grew at a ...

IdeaFeed

Liberal Fury

Missing
over 4 years ago

The New Republic is one of many liberal publications criticizing Rahm Emanuel’s plan to put Obama’s economic agenda before passing healthcare reform. “Is health care reform dead? Megan McArdle says so, offering two arguments -- one persuasive, the other not. Her unpersuasive argument is that ...