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


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

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


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

SolSource: Sustainable Collaborative Design for and by Himalayan Nomadic Communities

January 5, 2011, 12:16 PM

One Earth Designs aims to ignite innovation across the socio-environmental spectrum among Himalayan agricultural and nomadic communities, working directly with local stakeholders to ensure each invention is of real practical value to the community. From portable solar stoves that keep indoor air clean to high-tech textiles that distribute heat evenly and seal it in for long cold hauls, the products OED churns out embody the organization's four core principles: Addressing immediate needs, building capacity for innovation through education, providing an incubator for technical and financial support, and co-designing hand-in-hand with the local community.

One of the OED's inventions, SolSource -- a lightweight umbrella-like solar energy device that offers a low-cost, portable means of cooking, heating and electricity generation -- was the grand winner of the annual Dutch Postcode Lottery Green Challenge competition, taking home €500,000 to make the device widely available to 2.5 billion of the world's poorest people.

SolSource was co-designed by rural Himalayan communities and embodies the future of community-centric, locally-grounded collaborative design – a true pinnacle of community empowerment through creative ownership of both process and product.

via TBD

Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine, Design Observer and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.


SolSource: Sustainable Coll...

Newsletter: Share: