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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Think Tank Posts

Big ideas in little doses

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Think Tank

The State of Our Rebellious Union

over 2 years ago

From Tea Parties to Occupy Wall Street, regular American citizens are sick and tired, and just can’t take it anymore. I am a proud tea partier, which means that I am fighting for fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets. Those three goals make up the core of our ...

Think Tank

Foreign Aid: a Perfect Gift for Kleptocrats.

over 2 years ago

The United States spends billions of dollars a year on foreign aid that often keeps autocrats, kleptocrats and dictators in power. Of course, when the US or any rich, developed country allocates foreign aid, their aim is not necessarily to keep bad policies in place. Not surprisingly, some of the ...

Think Tank

The Humble Beginnings of China's Economy

over 2 years ago

What is the Big Idea? It turns out that ground zero for China's economic boom was in Xiaogang, a small, rural farming village in the Anhui Province. On the night of Nov. 24, 1978, farmers from 18 households in this village drafted and signed a secret document that changed the way their ...

Think Tank

Income Disparity Tops the List of Global Risks

over 2 years ago

Severe income disparity and fiscal imbalances are the biggest threats to globalization, according to the 2012 Global Risks report released last week. The content of the report will be on the agenda for the annual World Economic Forum taking place in Davos on January 25-29. The findings ...

Think Tank

Can This Man Save the Opera?

over 2 years ago

In the climactic final act of Verdi's opera La traviata, the heroine Violetta is on her deathbed, stricken with tuberculosis. Suddenly her estranged lover Alfredo returns to her side and the newly reunited lovers imagine a future together. Violetta experiences a great resurgence of strength only to ...

Think Tank

Dancing with the Stars in Afghanistan

over 2 years ago

What's the Big Idea? The U.S. involvement in Afghanistan has dragged on for over a decade now, making it the longest war in U.S. history, and one of the costliest. However, it should be some measure of consolation to know just how much has changed since the Taliban were removed from power. Under ...

Think Tank

SOPA: Innovation Black Out

over 2 years ago

Who's even heard of SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act? And who really cares about the outcome of this legislation? Isn't it really just "an insiders' game" played between "a bunch of rich guys" -- the tech industry and the content industry? We heard the answer to those questions loud and clear ...