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

Money, Mammograms

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Talk about perfect timing. Just as the last 'death panel' falsettos fade into the droning no-government- takeover chorus, along come those 'faceless government bureaucrats' from the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force to stop the music in the nation’s busy and profitable mammography suites. No ...

IdeaFeed

Buzkashi

Missing
over 4 years ago

To listen to news broadcasts and presidential speeches one could imagine the people of Afghanistan to be eagerly waiting for the ideals of a spirited democracy to take hold. More than likely they are not. In a country where the literacy rate is below ten percent, more than anything they are probably ...

IdeaFeed

51st State?

Missing
over 4 years ago

The favorite cry of D.C.ers: “No taxation without representation” may continue, but the District is getting some rights to self-determination once held by the Federal Government. “The House of Representatives passed a bill on December 10 that would allow the government of the District of Columbia to ...

IdeaFeed

Armed Pit Stop

Missing
over 4 years ago

“A cargo aircraft transporting over 35 tonnes of arms from North Korea has been seized and its five-man crew detained after landing at Bangkok airport for refuelling, Thai officials have said. The arms included missiles and grenades, Panitan Wattanayagorn, a spokesman for the Thai government, told ...

IdeaFeed

Space Tourism

Missing
over 4 years ago

“As NASA’s manned space efforts falter in the face of the looming conclusion of the shuttle program and by a finding of the Augustine Committee that projects that government-funded space exploration will be significantly more expensive in coming years, private space ventures are soaring. Virgin ...

IdeaFeed

Hydrogen Benz

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Fuel cells are highly interesting bits of tech. We’ve followed Mercedes’ efforts in this arena, from the practical B-Class F-Cell shown above to the the fanciful F-Cell Roadster concept, so we’re excited to hear the Germans say they’re bringing a fuel cell powered B-Class to 'select customers' in ...

IdeaFeed

Doubly Unaccountable

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Last week we learned that Erik Prince, CEO of shadowy military contractor Blackwater, was formerly a CIA asset. Today, the New York Times reports that Blackwater guards participated in and even helped lead highly sensitive CIA missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Initially brought on simply to provide ...

IdeaFeed

Bosom Buddies

Missing
over 4 years ago

“The Prime Minister and French President put on a public show of unity for the second day running at an EU summit in Brussels. They linked the two issues of the moment by proposing that bankers might foot the bill for combating climate change. They called on the International Monetary Fund to ...

IdeaFeed

2009 Innovations

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Once again, The Times Magazine looks back on the past year from our favored perch: ideas. Like a magpie building its nest, we have hunted eclectically, though not without discrimination, for noteworthy notions of 2009 — the twigs and sticks and shiny paper scraps of human ingenuity, which, when ...

IdeaFeed

Losing Louisiana

Missing
over 4 years ago

The fact that Louisiana’s coastline is disappearing faster than a crocodile can snap up its dinner is certain to be ignored for at least two reasons: it is mostly affecting tribes of Native Americans and the coastal erosion is caused by global warming. Randy Newman was right: “Louisiana, they’re ...

IdeaFeed

Suicide Camp, USA

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Extremists held in a US-run detention centre in Iraq were allowed to teach fellow detainees how to use explosives and become suicide bombers, a former inmate has told Al Jazeera. Adel Jasim Mohammed, a former detainee of Camp Bucca near Umm Qasr, said that US officials did nothing to stop radicals ...

IdeaFeed

Save the Rainforests

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Google.org, the non-profit division of the search engine giant Google, wants to help scientists monitor deforestation by harnessing the power of its popular Google Earth and Maps applications. Its new ‘high-performance satellite imagery-processing engine’ can process terabytes of information on ...

IdeaFeed

Blippy

Missing
over 4 years ago

“As the Internet matures, slowly but surely everything we do in the real world is going social. A new service, Blippy , launching today in private beta, has an interesting way to take something you do everyday, buy things with your credit card, and automatically push those transactions online for ...

IdeaFeed

Market Forces

Missing
over 4 years ago

“The U.S. House of Representatives passed the most sweeping financial regulation bill since the Great Depression on Friday afternoon. The legislation is extremely ambitious. It seeks to create a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) to regulate consumer credit products, to create a ...

IdeaFeed

Polite or Politic?

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on Thursday, President Obama gave the speech he needed to give, but we suspect not precisely the one the Nobel committee wanted to hear. Mr. Obama was appropriately humble. He said that ‘compared to some of the giants of history who have received this prize,’ his ...