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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The Scope of the Problem

over 4 years ago

You have probably been annoyed by how expensive and frustrating it can be to get health care. But you may also, like many people, assume that's the way health care has to be. But as Ezra Klein points out in an invaluable post today, health care in United States costs much, much more than it does ...

Mind Matters

Time to Help the Neighbors

over 4 years ago

Ron Bluntschli, an American who works with Haitian farmers through the organization Beyond Borders, told me this story years ago: "When I lived in the country there was a family near us that was very, very poor. They might not start their fire for three days, which meant they didn’t eat for three ...

Trend World

Stop Spitting, Save the World?

over 4 years ago

When it comes to improving overall quality of life, few people pay much attention to the simplest of social graces. Sure, there are plenty of annoying, rude gestures plaguing practically every region on the planet, but spitting in public has suddenly come under fire for a variety of reasons. So ...

Waq al-Waq

New CTC Sentinel

over 4 years ago

The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point has just released a special issue devoted to AQAP, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. The issue reprints a number of articles that both Brian and I have written for the Sentinel as well as a new one that I have out on recent events in Yemen, including the attempted ...

Waq al-Waq

Editorial Notice

over 4 years ago

For those new to Waq al-waq - and that is most of you - you should be aware that we will delete any comment that uses profanity, as I did earlier today in a comment from "D. Ghirlandaio". This individual is welcome to re-post his or her comment without using profane language. It is not the ...

Mind Matters

Stressed Doctors Are Impersonal Doctors

over 4 years ago

A new study finds doctors who are stressed and tired treat their patients more mechanistically--prescribing pills, tests and other technical fixes instead of taking the time to see people as people. I guess this won't surprise parents, teachers, cops or other people who deal with the public, but I ...

As I Please

The Agony That is Haiti

over 4 years ago

The devastation wreaked on Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, in the aftermath of an earthquake which rocked the city to its fragile foundations is a bitter blow to what remains the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. That Haiti, the first country in the West Indies to win independence ...

Picture This

Guiding Hands

over 4 years ago

When you hear the name Leonardo da Vinci you automatically think “Genius” with a capital “G.” Such Genius that he seemingly came from nowhere to walk among us. Science fiction writers love to imagine Leonardo as a brother from another planet or a time-traveling tourist from the future. The High ...


Working Life

over 4 years ago

As many as half of us bring our work home with us regularly according to new research by the University of Toronto which describes “the stress associated with work-life balance”.


Ms President?

over 4 years ago

The Washington Post’s Kathleen Parker says that despite the “assumption that a female president is inevitable, and likely soonish, it’s surprisingly difficult to come up with a name”.