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

Why It's Useful to Fool Yourself

7 months ago

"Hang a lantern on it" is a writer’s term.  It means that if you have something that is a hole in your writing, lead with it, push with it, say it outright.   My favorite example of this is "Die Hard 2." The big problem with that movie is stated very clearly by Bruce Willis's character.  He’s ...

In Their Own Words

The Power of Not Knowing

7 months ago

Humility in the face of the unknown - that was my experience growing up gay and as a Catholic.  My sexuality brought me into conflict with what I had been taught about the way the world worked, who God was and instead of latching onto some other bullshit explanation, instead of finding a ...

In Their Own Words

The Trade-Off Myth

7 months ago

Something may sound very good, very idealistic, but it won’t compete well in the marketplace and when it runs up against a business that is not handicapped with this idealism then it will be in trouble.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  It’s the exact opposite. In fact, the conscious ...

In Their Own Words

How to Get Smart About Fear

7 months ago

How do we get the courage to launch a big idea that we may be very afraid of moving forward with?  The first thing is to get wise about fear, to get really smart about fear.  I think we all need a fear toolkit that helps us navigate the fear in our lives.  So if you’re feeling a lot of fear here ...

In Their Own Words

What a School Eye Exam Won't Reveal

7 months ago

I think if your child has a problem learning to read in school it’s a very good idea to take them to a developmental optometrist who’s an expert in binocular vision and have their binocular vision tested carefully. Children with binocular vision problems may have trouble learning to read in school ...

In Their Own Words

The Internet Bill of Rights

8 months ago

My big concern is that this magnificent tool of publicness we have in the Internet, this Gutenberg press in every hand, could get regulated under the guises of piracy, privacy, security, pedophilia, decency, even civility from good governments and bad. If that happens I think that we lose this ...

In Their Own Words

Living By the Humanist Narrative

8 months ago

The narrative I live by is the humanist narrative that if we are looking for morality, if we’re looking for vices and virtues, we can find them both in humanity—in human creations, human culture, humanity’s endeavor to develop our reason or our emotions and not only relationships between humans ...

In Their Own Words

My Profund Skepticism of Success

8 months ago

From profound failure for so much of my earlier years, I defended myself against not getting ‘A’s in school and not standing out - standing out for anything, for spectacular underachievement.  I hardened myself to disregard all of the attributes of success, my skepticism about the student council ...