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

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
almost 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
almost 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 ...

Think Tank

Google Searches for Itself.

Google_final_
almost 3 years ago

What’s the Big Idea?  With its 13th birthday fast approaching, Google’s going through a patch of mid-life anxiety. That’s right – famously hip and spritely Google, whose employees scoot around the Googleplex on Segways, play ping-pong at will, and unwind after a hectic day with an on-site ...

Think Tank

Fear is the Mind-Killer

Fear_is_the_mindkiller_finally
about 3 years ago

What's the Big Idea? Your heart is pounding, your pupils are dilated, your palms are soaked with sweat. The adrenaline rush we all experience when our bodies go in to “fight or flight” mode is an asset if we’re up against a physical threat. But unless you're a stunt double or an ice road trucker ...

Think Tank

Social Change at Scale: Peter Thum's Fonderie47

Fonderie
about 3 years ago

What's the Big Idea? There is no shortage of ideas in today's knowledge economy. There is, however, a shortage of actionable ideas. How can we take on seemingly insurmountable issues like climate change, the eradication of diseases and the scarcity of natural resources? Tackling these issues ...