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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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.

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Blog Posts

IdeaFeed

Organics and Ethics

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over 4 years ago

University of Toronto researchers Nina Mazar and Chen-Bo Zhong have found that exposure to organic and environmentally friendly products leads people to act more altruistically. The study also showed, however, that "people act less altruistically and are more likely to cheat and steal after ...

IdeaFeed

Darwin a Historian?

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over 4 years ago

"If ever there was a scientific theory that is fundamentally historical, that purports to explain change over time, it is evolution through natural selection and its corollary, humankind’s dual inheritance." writes Donald Worster. "Yet I have to admit that my fellow historians, teaching in history ...

What's New at Big Think

A Big, Wasteful Human Lightbulb

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over 4 years ago

Not that you spend too much time wondering what life would be like if you were a light bulb…but, in case you’re curious, your body’s existence is equivalent to a 100-watt light bulb, left on 24 hours a day. Now, add in the amount of energy it takes to create the material goods necessary to fuel your ...

Brave Green World

What’s In A Name: Organic By The Numbers

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over 4 years ago

If you’ve spent time with an environmentalist in the past few years, you’ve probably had a conversation that went something like this: You: I’ve switched to organic peanut butter! After two months, it tastes normal to me. I feel like I’m protecting my health and saving the world! Crunchy: The ...

IdeaFeed

Healthy Cafeterias

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over 4 years ago

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver may not be starting a "food revolution" with his push to make school lunches healthier, but Marion Nestle gives him credit for trying to get "real food" back into cafeterias. The challenges to his include "USDA rules that make cooking too expensive for school budgets ...

IdeaFeed

Lone Star Survivor

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over 4 years ago

Why did Texas, remarkably, escape the worst of the burst of the real estate bubble? The state has had a comparatively low mortgage default rate through the recession, and Alyssa Katz writes that the broader secret to the state's success may be that it limits "cash-out" refinancing and home-equity ...