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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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Think Tank Posts

Big ideas in little doses

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Think Tank

The Brain Drain Game: Why Everybody Loses.

Immigration
almost 3 years ago

What's The Big Idea?  The issue of immigration sits on the fault lines of culture, politics, and economics, pushed to and fro by conflicting and often irreconcilable forces. At worst, national immigration policies lurch forward like Frankenstein’s monster, stitched together from random bits of ...

Think Tank

The Neuroscience of Success

Monkey_typewriter
almost 3 years ago

“Our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners.” –Shakespeare’s Othello, I.iii Admittedly, the messenger quoted above is Shakespeare’s arch-villain Iago. But when the message is right, it’s right. Neuroscience and psychology have identified willpower, largely a co ...

Think Tank

Failure is not an option. It's a necessity.

Frefall
almost 3 years ago

To punish failure is yet another way to encourage mediocrity.    –Michael Eisner Playing it safe is no longer a career option for most Americans, if it ever was. And that's good news, in one sense: the downside of job security is that it dulls your appetite for risk, and your ability to ...

Think Tank

Are You as Ethical as Bernie Madoff?

Madoff
almost 3 years ago

What's the Big Idea? Max Bazerman’s concept of bounded ethicality focuses on the psychological processes that lead even good people to engage in ethically questionable behavior that contradicts their own preferred ethics. In other words, instead of focusing on a bad apple--like Bernie ...

Think Tank

There's a 20% Chance We're All Sims.

Virtual_office
almost 3 years ago

What’s the Big Idea?  Depending who you ask, there’s a 20 to 50 percent chance that you’re living in a computer simulation. Not like The Matrix, exactly – the virtual people in that movie had real bodies, albeit suspended in weird, pod-like things and plugged into a supercomputer. Imagine ...

Think Tank

How To Run The World

How_to_run_the_world
almost 3 years ago

“We’ve been lulled into this complacency in the last couple of hundred years that you’re only practicing diplomacy if you’re from a government or a foreign ministry. That is not at all the case.”  What's the Big Idea? If you still think of diplomacy as something that happens in smoky ...

Think Tank

Am I Using Him?

Trop_belle_pour_toi_01
about 3 years ago

In a previous post, Big Think invited you to pose your ethical questions to Randy Cohen, the former New York Times writer who answered reader's questions in his column "The Ethicist" for over a decade. The dilemmas he tackled ranged from the ethics of moving to higher-priced unoccupied seats at ...

Think Tank

Ego Check: You Are Not a Brand

Jackie_chan_b
about 3 years ago

"I wouldn't call myself humble," says former Apple evangelist, venture capitalist and author Guy Kawasaki. And yet, thinking too much about your personal brand is "a slippery slope toward egomania," he says. In this video, Kawasaki shares a particularly humbling experience that brought his ego back ...