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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Blog Posts

As I Please

Bringing North Korea In From The Cold

800px-north_korea_mass_games_1998
about 4 years ago

It was announced this week that the United Nations Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Lynn Pascoe, and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Adviser, Kim won-soo, will shortly travel to North Korea in a potentially ground breaking mission designed to ease the recalcitrant North back in from ...

Mind Matters

Black Swans, Male Strippers and Uncertainty

800px-cygnus_atratus_singapore2
about 4 years ago

"This too, shall pass." Folk tales say this was engraved on a ring given to King Solomon, who had demanded a gift that would make him sad when he was happy, and happy when he was sad. I recall it whenever I'm confronted with the claim that history has a positive direction--that, by and large, we ...

Waq al-Waq

Really easy tea leaves

Missing
about 4 years ago

GENEVA - The United Nations food agency said on Friday a lack of funds had forced it to cut back rations for around one million people in Yemen, despite growing chronic hunger. How this plays out will go a long way in telling you how closely rhetoric and reality will match up.

IdeaFeed

Auto Stalled

Missing
about 4 years ago

"A friend of mine once had a Toyota that wouldn't die. The odometer had only a dim recollection of passing 100,000 miles, the body was dinged, the paint was faded and the interior was worn, but the thing just kept running. He finally parked it at the airport, removed the plates and walked away. But ...

IdeaFeed

Terror Teller

Missing
about 4 years ago

The Christmas Day bomber has reportedly given up intelligence about a radical Muslim cleric hiding in Yemen who is believed to have been involved in orchestrating the attack. "Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has been cooperating with the FBI. He has provided information about Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born ...

IdeaFeed

Macrobenthos

Missing
about 4 years ago

"A study of animals visible to the naked eye and living in and on the seabed -- the 'macrobenthos' -- of the Straits of Magellan and Drake Passage will help scientists understand the biodiversity, biogeography and ecology of the Magellanic region. 'The biodiversity data are from my very first ...

IdeaFeed

Literary Justice

Missing
about 4 years ago

Google's controversial plan to create a digital library has been dealt another blow by the Justice Department, which has criticized the plans for having "significant legal problems" despite recent rewrites. "The Justice Department on Thursday said that a class-action settlement between the company ...

IdeaFeed

Missionaries Charged

Missing
about 4 years ago

"Ten American missionaries arrested in Haiti for trying to take 33 children out of the country after last month's earthquake were charged today with child kidnapping and criminal association. The group, most of whom are members of an Idaho-based church group, were sent back to jail today after a ...

IdeaFeed

Pluto Up Close

Missing
about 4 years ago

NASA scientists have taken extraordinary photographs of former planet Pluto thanks to the technology of the Hubble Space Telescope, which has captured the spectacular gold-colored sphere. "Pluto, now classed as a dwarf planet, is so small and so distant that its surface has been a mystery to ...

IdeaFeed

Origins Of The...

Missing
about 4 years ago

"Charles Darwin's ancient ancestors were among the first group of Homo sapiens to leave Africa, a DNA analysis has revealed. His forebears, Cro-Magnon men, left Africa about 45,000 years ago, heading to the Middle East and Central Asia, then migrated to Europe about 10,000 years later. There, they ...

IdeaFeed

Germanium Laser

Missing
about 4 years ago

Scientists at MIT have demonstrated the first laser that operates using the germanium element in a move that could bring us closer to optical computing. "The laser, which operates at room temperature, could prove to be an important step toward computer chips that move data using light instead of ...

IdeaFeed

Dumping Waste

Missing
about 4 years ago

"The Russian military allegedly dumped nuclear waste into the Baltic Sea in the early 1990s, according to a report on Swedish television. Radioactive material from a military base in Latvia is thought to have been thrown into Swedish waters. For many the biggest shock is that the Swedish government ...

IdeaFeed

Choppy Move

Missing
about 4 years ago

Taiwan is planning to sign a $111m deal in the next few days to buy 20 helicopters from a European manufacturer in a move which could provoke an angry response from China. "Taiwan said on Friday it would buy military helicopters from a European manufacturer, a move that could ignite China's anger ...