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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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Project Syndicate Posts

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Project Syndicate

The Waste of War

Bt_wastes_of_war
about 18 hours ago

NEW YORK – Karl Marx famously wrote that history repeats itself, “the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.” Yet when we look around nowadays, we can’t help but wonder whether tragedy will be followed by yet more tragedy. Here we are, at the centenary of the outbreak of World War I ...

Project Syndicate

The Three-Track Middle East

Bt_middle_east
9 days ago

LAGUNA BEACH – During a recent trip to the Middle East, I was struck by the growing gap between countries – so much so that, more than ever, I came away convinced that it makes no sense today to talk of the region as a coherent whole. Rather than pursuing internal convergence, this important ...

Project Syndicate

Sovereign Debt at Square One

Bt_argentina_debt
10 days ago

CAMBRIDGE – Argentina and its bankers have been barred from making payments to fulfill debt-restructuring agreements reached with the country’s creditors, unless the 7% of creditors who rejected the agreements are paid in full – a judgment that is likely to stick, now that the US Supreme Court ...

Project Syndicate

Taking Systemic Risk Seriously

Bt_risk
23 days ago

WASHINGTON, DC – There are two leading views about the world’s financial system. The first, heard mostly from executives at leading global banks and their allies, is that the system is safer than it has ever been. According to this view, the events that led up to the global financial crisis ...

Project Syndicate

The Limits of Climate Negotiations

Bt_climate_change
about 1 month ago

NEW YORK – If the world is to solve the climate-change crisis, we will need a new approach. Currently, the major powers view climate change as a negotiation over who will reduce their CO2 emissions (mainly from the use of coal, oil, and gas). Each agrees to small “contributions” of emission ...

Project Syndicate

Emerging-Market Target Practice

Bt_istanbul
about 1 month ago

ISTANBUL – Central bankers want only a few things. To achieve any of them they usually seek to nudge inflation expectations, demonstrate the transparency of monetary policy, and establish their institutions’ credibility. To communicate their intentions simply and clearly, they may set an ...

Project Syndicate

Rebooting China

Bt_china
about 1 month ago

MILAN – Despite China’s widely discussed economic slowdown, annual GDP growth remains above 7%, implying little cause for alarm – at least for now. The question is whether the government’s efforts to implement structural reforms and transform the economy’s growth model are working – that is ...

Project Syndicate

Mexico’s Breakout Moment?

Bt_mexico
about 1 month ago

MEXICO CITY – Less than two years into Enrique Peña Nieto’s presidency, Mexico is implementing an ambitious structural-reform package designed to lift its economy out of a multi-decade low-growth trap and create new opportunities for its citizens. The reforms involve restructuring economic sectors ...

Project Syndicate

Labor’s Digital Displacement

Bt_digital
about 1 month ago

MILAN – Digital technologies are once again transforming global value chains and, with them, the structure of the global economy. What do businesses, citizens, and policymakers need to know as they scramble to keep up? Digitally enabled supply chains initially increased efficiency and ...

Project Syndicate

Why Bill Gates Gets It Wrong

Bt_african_agriculture_final
about 1 month ago

NEW YORK – In his review of Nina Munk’s error-filled and out-of-date book, Bill Gates oddly abandons the rigorous approach to measurement and evaluation that defines his foundation’s invaluable work. He simply accepts Munk’s assertion that the Millennium Villages Project – an ongoing development ...

Project Syndicate

Why Jeffrey Sachs Matters

Bt_african_village
about 1 month ago

SEATTLE – Bono calls economist Jeffrey Sachs “the squeaky wheel that roars.” To me, Sachs is the Bono of economics – a guy with impressive intelligence, passion, and powers of persuasion who is devoting his gifts to speaking up for the poorest people on the planet. So I was not surprised that a ...