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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IdeaFeed Posts

Big ideas in the news from around the web

IdeaFeed

Dark Matters

Missing
over 4 years ago

“In August, physicist Jia Liu at New York University outlined his design for a spacecraft powered by dark matter. Soon afterwards, mathematicians Louis Crane and Shawn Westmoreland at Kansas State University in Manhattan proposed plans for a craft powered by an artificial black hole. No one disputes ...

IdeaFeed

Dubai Crash?

Missing
over 4 years ago

Questions are being asked about the financial health of Dubai after a major, government-owned investment firm asked for a six month delay on the repayment of its debts. Dubai World is in the process of restructuring and has asked creditors if it can postpone forthcoming payments on its $59bn debt ...

IdeaFeed

Navy Sea Lions

Missing
over 4 years ago

“The U.S. Navy Seals have a reputation for being amongst the bravest of servicemen. But their exploits pale when compared to the daring recruits currently in training - who swim between live mines and even detain terrorist divers underwater. But these are no regular sailors. They are sea lions ...

IdeaFeed

Stately Gatecrash

Missing
over 4 years ago

A couple who managed to gatecrash a White House state dinner for the Indian prime minister – and later boasted about it on Facebook- have sparked an urgent investigation into the US Secret Service’s security procedures. “Michaele and Tareq Salahi were not on the guest list for Tuesday's dinner ...

IdeaFeed

Newton Vs Einstein

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Was Newton right and Einstein wrong?” asks The Scientific American. “It seems that unzipping the fabric of spacetime and harking back to 19th-century notions of time could lead to a theory of quantum gravity. Physicists have struggled to marry quantum mechanics with gravity for decades. In contrast ...

IdeaFeed

Iran-China Oil Deal

Missing
over 4 years ago

“China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding with its Iranian partners to invest $6.5bn in oil refinery construction in Iran. China has embarked on an investment plan to increase its activity in the Iranian energy sector by investing significantly in national refineries ...

IdeaFeed

Human Traffic

Missing
over 4 years ago

The trade of human beings in sex trafficking is an American problem too says Bridgette Carr the director of Michigan University’s Human Trafficking Clinic. “‘We did not have a right to choose where we lived ... freedom of speech, or freedom of actions. The traffickers had keys to our apartment. They ...

IdeaFeed

Hey Presto!

Missing
over 4 years ago

The Central Intelligence Agency’s “Magic Manual”, a book on trickery and misdirection written by magician John Mulholland, has resurfaced. The CIA paid Mulholland $3,000 to write down advise on “misdirection, concealment and stagecraft” during the Cold War. But all known copies were believed to have ...

IdeaFeed

“Die Robin Hood”

Missing
over 4 years ago

A German banker has been hailed as “Die Robin Hood Bankerin” after she transferred money from rich accounts to help the poor. “In these financially troubled times, bankers tend not to score too highly on the scale of public admiration, with their bonuses, bailouts and bad loans. But today details ...

IdeaFeed

Camel Hostages

Missing
over 4 years ago

More than 6,000 marauding, thirsty camels are holding residents of a small central Australian community hostage. The Northern Territory Government said today that it would begin an emergency cull of the animals after the Docker River, about 500 kilometres south west of Alice Springs, became overrun ...

IdeaFeed

Philippines Massacre

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Police investigating the massacre of a group of journalists and politicians in the southern Philippines have found another six bodies, taking the total death toll from the attack to at least 52. The bodies were dug out of a shallow pit on Wednesday, close to the scene in southern Maguindanao ...

IdeaFeed

Osmotic Power

Missing
over 4 years ago

If you mix salt water with fresh water you create instant carbon-neutral energy – the process is called osmotic power and the world’s first osmotic power plant has just opened in Norway. The plant, founded by a company called Statkraft, will operate modestly during the testing stage but hopes to ...

IdeaFeed

Robot Law

Missing
over 4 years ago

Stanford scholars are considering the legal implications of using robots – with issues extending beyond personal injury and property damage to criminal and civil rights. “They already detect and defuse bombs, control traffic patterns and do some basic household chores. And scientists predict that ...

IdeaFeed

Health Fears

Missing
over 4 years ago

Why do people resist going to the doctor? Cary Tennis, a writer for The Salon, who was recently diagnosed with cancer explores an ingrained reluctance to self preserve. “Last week, knowing that I had a cancer that might have been detected as much as a year earlier, I was crushed with the weight of ...

IdeaFeed

Bush’s Drum Beat

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Tony Blair's [UK] government knew that prominent members of the Bush administration wanted to topple Saddam Hussein years before the invasion but initially distanced itself from the prospect knowing it would be unlawful, it was disclosed at the Iraq inquiry today. British intelligence also ...