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

In Their Own Words

Go Ahead, You Have Permission to Cheat.

7 months ago

I have some friends at Google who told me years ago when they were doing studies of what people are Googling, most of the things were obvious.  It was Lady Gaga and some name in the news. But sometimes there would just be these things that came from out of the blue, like the capital of Angola ...

In Their Own Words

In Defense of Slacktivism

7 months ago

I think the Internet has been the best thing to happen to advocates and advocacy as a practice.  You hear criticisms of slacktivism or clicktivism or whatever the term is, and the fear is that people will sit on their couch instead of going to publicly demonstrate or whatever the preferred action ...

In Their Own Words

Dystopia is a Closed System

7 months ago

The dystopian scenario is the scenario in which the future is essentially beaten back and all systems become closed.  You can’t operate in an open way.  Some of that could come through government intervention, some of that could frankly come through spam and viruses.  If the technological threat ...

In Their Own Words

Is Interest-Driven Learning Right for Me?

7 months ago
by Joi Ito

I dropped out of Tufts, I dropped out of the University of Chicago and I wasn’t even that good at high school. I didn’t have a good time.  I didn’t learn that much.  But I think it has a lot to do with your personality as well as the area of your interests.  My sister, who was brought up in a ...

In Their Own Words

The Other Climate Crisis

7 months ago

I have fallen into using the phrase, “the other climate crisis.”  And I think it has a resonance.  What I mean by it is that we had become used to the fact now, I least I hope we have, that there is a crisis in the world’s natural resources.  But I also think that there is a crisis in our human ...

In Their Own Words

Fixing the Water Mess in India

7 months ago

We have a three-part strategy to revolutionize the water story in India.  The first part is to come up with ways that are politically feasible to start pricing water and electricity.  This is done through field experiments with farmers to figure out how they can participate in this.  The second is ...

In Their Own Words

The Ideas the Smart Money is Chasing

7 months ago

This is a confusing time to be a venture capital investor.  The models are changing.  You could make the argument that it has become more competitive, that valuations are being bid up, that there is a lot of money chasing a small number of really clever new ideas and it’s just a difficult time to ...

In Their Own Words

What All Crises Have in Common

7 months ago

The panic of 1907 can tell us a lot about the crisis of 2007 to 2009, the so-called sub prime crisis.  Crises have in common a number of attributes.  The first is, they are fundamentally psychological phenomena, they’re not driven by rational decision-making necessarily, they are driven by fear and ...

In Their Own Words

The Incredible Value of Consistency

7 months ago

In business one of the classic findings is that you derive a lot of value from consistency.  So a brand that is consistent across time attracts value because people are used to seeing certain images over and over and over again.  And this is true about money.  Money acquires value through its ...