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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In Their Own Words Posts

Experts explore the biggest ideas in their fields

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In Their Own Words

The Key to Thriving in Uncertainty

10 months ago

In this current economy everything is uncertain.  You don’t know what can happen tomorrow.  Even if you have a job, you could get laid off in a week.  To be successful in today’s economy, you have to be accountable for your own career and take charge of your own life.  Don’t rely on anyone or ...

In Their Own Words

Moving Toward Global Compassion

10 months ago

I've had the good fortune, and luck, to get to know the Dalai Lama and to have the opportunity to spend almost 50 hours in one-on-one discussions.  And we've influenced each other.  One of the influences he's had on me is to get me interested in the issue of compassion.  We all feel compassion ...

In Their Own Words

Soft Skills are the Secret to Success

10 months ago

We’ve found through research over the past years that the most important skills are soft skills.  These are intangible skills.  You can’t really measure them, but it’s all about relationship building, being able to communicate with other people.  If you can’t really do that, if you can’t do ...

In Their Own Words

What I Want to Do When I Grow Up

10 months ago

If you asked me when I was 17 what I wanted to do when I was in my 50’s - let’s imagine I could think of being in my 50’s - what I would want is to work with one of the most talented magic show biz minds that’s ever lived, have what is to my Greenfield, Massachusetts sensibility, not to Donald ...

In Their Own Words

I Was Born a Scientist

11 months ago

I don’t ever remember now wanting to be a scientist.  I had an uncle who was very influential.  He was a scientist who worked on the development of the solar battery at Bell Labs.  And he was somebody that I had admired very much.  But in addition to having models, I wanted to be a scientist ...

In Their Own Words

The World Needs More "Anti-Disciplinaries"

11 months ago
by Joi Ito

A lot of the different departments are encouraged to work together at MIT, but each department is relatively focused on going very deep in particular areas, like computer science or radio, whereas the Media Lab is very multi-disciplinary in a different way in that we have only one of every kind of ...

In Their Own Words

How Can You Stand to Do What You Do?

11 months ago

There are very many people who don’t really enjoy what they do or perhaps even how they live, they don’t enjoy the work that they do and they sort of tolerate it.  You know, they get through the week and they wait for the weekend.  There’s a lot of evidence of that, by the way.  A lot of studies ...

In Their Own Words

Be Cautious of the Fallacy Fallacy

11 months ago

While it’s really valuable to be able to notice rhetorical fallacies in other people’s arguments, it’s possibly even more valuable to be able to notice them in your own arguments.  And the reason is that there’s a danger to learning about cognitive biases and logical fallacies and so on which is ...