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

Bad Santa

Missing
over 4 years ago

“In Nashville, Tennessee, Bad Santa has struck, holding up a bank at gunpoint. Dressed seasonally in bright red with white gloves, white beard, red and white hat and dark sunglasses, he pulled a gun and threatened the bank staff that if they put dye bombs on the cash, to make it traceable, he would ...

IdeaFeed

Blame Game

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Copenhagen was a disaster. That much is agreed. But the truth about what actually happened is in danger of being lost amid the spin and inevitable mutual recriminations. The truth is this: China wrecked the talks, intentionally humiliated Barack Obama, and insisted on an awful ‘deal’ so western ...

IdeaFeed

Boeing’s Braintrust

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner looks like any other airliner, so it might be hard for anyone but an airplane geek to get so excited about its inaugural flight. But the energy-efficient airliner is a bold step forward for Boeing, and for aviation. As much as the 787 Dreamliner looks like the jet that ...

IdeaFeed

Health and Wealth

Missing
over 4 years ago

“The average low-income person loses 8.2 years of perfect health, the average high school dropout loses 5.1 years, and the obese lose 4.2 years, according to researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Tobacco control has long been one of the most important public health ...

IdeaFeed

Festive Space

Missing
over 4 years ago

The latest astronauts to reach the International Space Station have kicked off a Space-based Christmas by arriving wearing Santa hats, elf costumes and clutching a Christmas tree. “The latest three astronauts to reach the International Space Station, have brought with them some festive cheer. Oleg ...

IdeaFeed

Secret Prisons

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Lithuania's intelligence agency helped the CIA to set up secret prisons in the Baltic country, a parliamentary panel said [Tuesday]. However, the national security committee found no evidence that any suspects were interrogated in Lithuania. The committee said the state security department provided ...

IdeaFeed

Bin Laden’s Wife

Missing
over 4 years ago

Osama Bin Laden’s closest family is reportedly in hiding in a secret compound in Iran. The group allegedly includes his wife and children who disappeared after the 9/11 attacks. “There has been uncertainty about the family’s whereabouts for the past eight years, with reports that some of the ...

IdeaFeed

Science or Fiction?

Missing
over 4 years ago

“The science fiction blockbuster ‘Avatar’ is set on a mysterious alien moon with out-of-this-world technologies. Its star director, James Cameron, has not only directed other science fiction epics like ‘Aliens, The Abyss’ and the first two ‘Terminator’ films, but was apparently the president of his ...

IdeaFeed

Gay Rights Victory

Missing
over 4 years ago

Landmark legislation has been passed in the overwhelmingly Catholic Mexico City legalizing marriage between same-sex couples – the first region in Latin America to do so. “The law, which is likely to be signed soon by the city's increasingly high-profile leftist Mayor, Marcelo Ebrard, was passed ...

IdeaFeed

Chimps on Fire

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Chimps remain cool under fire, possessing a near human ability to predict how wildfires spread and react accordingly. This newfound capability of chimpanzees to understand flames might shed light on when and how our distant ancestors first learned to control fire, scientists now suggest ...

IdeaFeed

Abortive Bill?

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Democrats are close enough to taste victory in their quest to remake the nation's health care system, but differences between the House and Senate on abortion could still blow it all up. The House health care bill would bar any health plan that receives federal money from covering abortions. Under ...

IdeaFeed

Glad Tidings?

Missing
over 4 years ago

A verdict on the trial of China’s most prominent dissident will be reached on Christmas day following a hearing which lasted just two hours. “Liu Xiaobo pleaded not guilty to charges of subversion at the Beijing Number One People’s Intermediate Court this morning. His lawyer Shang Baojun told The ...

IdeaFeed

AmAir Crash

Missing
over 4 years ago

An American Airlines plane has crashed in Jamaica injuring 40 after it overshot the runway, according to aviation authority reports. “There were no initial reports of fatalities, but Daryl Vaz, the country's information minister, told local media that 40 people were injured. ‘The injured passengers ...

IdeaFeed

Eye Candy

Missing
over 4 years ago

What do the Egyptian pyramids, the Mona Lisa and George Clooney’s face all have in common? The “golden ratio” according to The Independent writer Steve Connor. “The ancient Egyptian pyramids, the Parthenon of Athens, Mona Lisa’s face and the head of George Clooney all have one thing in common. Their ...

IdeaFeed

Happiness Rating

Missing
over 4 years ago

A new study, dubbed the “smiley scale”, has ranked each American state by happiness – revealing that dwellers of the Big Apple were the least, er smiley. “Andrew J. Oswald, of the University of Warwick in Britain, and Stephen Wu, of Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y. — examined piles of data, tossed ...