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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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Today's Big Idea Posts

Big Think's lesson of the day, distilled

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Bridging the Power Gap

The Big Idea for Tuesday, July 22, 2014
by Big Think Editors

The corner office may afford a nice view, but it can certainly be isolating at times. With hierarchy comes intimidation, and employees can feel reluctant to share their insights with their high...

The Crowdfunding Age

The Big Idea for Monday, July 21, 2014
by Big Think Editors

Why do you need "the crowd"? If you believe in your idea, taking it to market through crowdfunding will not only help you raise the funding that you need, but it will make your idea stronger. C...

Medical Ecology

The Big Idea for Sunday, July 20, 2014
by Big Think Editors

The study of the human microbiome is a fast emerging field of scientific endeavor, driven by the idea that we need to rethink our relationship to the 100 trillion microbes that reside in the human...


The Big Idea for Saturday, July 19, 2014
by Big Think Editors

It is tempting to say that smart, creative people have no distinct set of character traits other than being smart and creative. However, James Gleick, who has written acclaimed biographies of Isaa...

Treating Depression

The Big Idea for Friday, July 18, 2014
by Big Think Editors

According to the World Health Organization, around 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. It is the leading cause of disability. Unfortunately, popular treatments, like Proxil and...

Ending Violence Against Women

The Big Idea for Thursday, July 17, 2014
by Big Think Editors

Over a third of the women in the world have experienced violence. Many women are born into cultures where gender-based persecution is simply a part of life: forced marriages for child brides, the ...

The Health Benefits of Kindness

The Big Idea for Wednesday, July 16, 2014
by Big Think Editors

If you could go back, would you relive your teenage years? No other time seems so perilous than those formative and dramatic years. High school is the ultimate introduction to Machiavellian politi...

Hiring Leadership

The Big Idea for Tuesday, July 15, 2014
by Big Think Editors

Know how to spot a leader? Perhaps the job candidate is the insightful and decisive person whom your company needs. Don't forget to also screen for cultural compatibility. William Clemens, of t...

Mindful Living

The Big Idea for Monday, July 14, 2014
by Big Think Editors

How much sleep do you get a night? Is it enough to help your brain function at its best? If the answer is 'no,' then you're likely watching TV, scrolling through your phone, or staring at some oth...

Deep Time

The Big Idea for Sunday, July 13, 2014
by Big Think Editors

The story of our planet, the deep time of the planet - which goes back 4.567 billion years - represents an incredible narrative about how we came to be and how our world works.  In today's less...

New Space

The Big Idea for Saturday, July 12, 2014
by Big Think Editors

Private space travel is a luxury enterprise that few can afford. But is it a luxury experience?  As private enterprises gear up to send more humans to space, they will first need to send those ...

Storytelling is Business

The Big Idea for Friday, July 11, 2014
by Big Think Editors

Are you in the business of selling ideas, of managing and motivating others? Then you're in the business of storytelling. Regardless of your job title, your role is to learn how to tell stories...

Why the World Cup Matters

The Big Idea for Thursday, July 10, 2014
by Big Think Editors

Tired of World Cup fever? Ready for amateur sports analysts to stop clogging up your social media newsfeeds? Does everyone in your office suddenly sound like soccer pundits? World Cup ends this...

Regulating for the Future

The Big Idea for Wednesday, July 09, 2014
by Big Think Editors

The wolves of Wall Street may be getting all the attention. But it's the wizards of Wall Street - the quants - who create financial innovations which can transform the global economy. Innovatio...

Paleolithic Moral Thinking

The Big Idea for Wednesday, July 09, 2014
by Big Think Editors

We have moral machinery in our brains designed by evolution and cultural experience that enables us to get along well in groups. In other words, we have gut reactions, caused by the brain's automa...