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.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

Blog Posts

IdeaFeed

The Blind Man Who Can 'See'

Missing
over 3 years ago

"T.N., as the blind man is known, suffered a stroke in 2003 which destroyed an area at the back of his brain that processes visual information: the primary visual cortex. The stroke affected only one hemisphere of his brain. What places TN in a category of his own, at least as far as the annals of ...

IdeaFeed

Why Read Literature?

Missing
over 3 years ago

"It is often asked: what is the difference between imaginative literature and other sorts of intellectual endeavor? Are there any kinds of knowledge uniquely available, say, from novels and poems? Why do we read them when we could read books in psychology, sociology, moral philosophy—especially if ...

IdeaFeed

Solar Wind Power

Missing
over 3 years ago

"The concept for the so-called Dyson-Harrop satellite begins with a long metal wire loop pointed at the sun. This wire is charged to generate a cylindrical magnetic field that snags the electrons that make up half the solar wind. These electrons get funnelled into a metal spherical receiver to ...

IdeaFeed

The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted

Missing
over 3 years ago

"The world, we are told, is in the midst of a revolution. The new tools of social media have reinvented social activism. With Facebook and Twitter and the like, the traditional relationship between political authority and popular will has been upended, making it easier for the powerless to ...

IdeaFeed

Social Science Insights

Missing
over 3 years ago

"The minimum wage has been politically controversial for most of the last century, even though it affects a marginal share of the labor force and evidence of significant job loss is inconclusive. Now one economist would like us to consider another effect of the minimum wage: finishing high school ...

IdeaFeed

U.N. Extraterrestrial Ambassador

Missing
over 3 years ago

"During a talk Othman gave recently to fellow scientists, she said: 'The continued search for extraterrestrial communication, by several entities, sustains the hope that some day humankind will receive signals from extraterrestrials. ... When we do, we should have in place a coordinated response ...

IdeaFeed

The Failure of Foreign Aid

Missing
over 3 years ago

"When the United Nations agreed on the Millennium Development Goals a decade ago, it was a triumph of consensus. But with five years to go before a self-imposed deadline, failure on many fronts is a real possibility. German commentators discuss why this is so. ... The failure of development aid is ...

Going Mental

How Modern Life Affects the Brain

Brain
over 3 years ago

Now that the Internet and the devices through which we connect to it have made ever-increasing amounts of information available to us all the time, scientists and social philosophers have begun to wonder whether our neural pathways can sustain the panoply of distractions that this information glut ...

As I Please

Ed Miliband: We Called The Result Here First

4322187269_c3045cc2a8_z
over 3 years ago

  Three days ago, I predicted here that Ed Miliband would be elected leader of the UK Labour Party. He was, and on the narrowest of margins. Ed Miliband is of course an unknown quantity in America, although he studied as a Fulbright Scholar earlier in the decade. Labour are of course in ...

IdeaFeed

Computer-Brain Interface

Missing
over 3 years ago

"Given the ever-increasing number of brain readout and control technologies available, a generalized brain coprocessor architecture could be enabled by defining common interfaces governing how component technologies talk to one another, as well as an "operating system" that defines how the overall ...