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

The Eyeglasses That Could Make The World Look Different

May 26, 2011, 2:58 PM

There are so many global problems that we can’t even see. Like the fact that 670 million people lack access to vision correction and around 100 million children don’t have access to basic eyecare. Thankfully, there are people and organizations who not only see but also act to get these problems solved.

Josh Silver is the inventor of the first self-adjustable glasses and the founder and director of Center for Vision in the Developing World (CDVW). Through his Child ViSion initiative he hopes to develop and distribute self-adjustable glasses for children aged 12-18 in the developing world and help 1 billion people see clearly by 2020.




Self-refraction and self-adjustable glasses are an innovative new method of providing low-cost glasses. Self-adjustable glasses allow the user to adjust the lens prescription  themselves until they can see clearly and sidestep the need of an optometrist. This is invaluable in parts of the world (like sub-Saharan Africa) where there is only one optometrist for every 1 million people. Fluid-filled lenses can correct a wide range of vision problems, including nearsightedness, farsightedness and inability to focus. Research shows that children as young as 12 can effectively adjust self-adjustable eyeglasses on their own. 


The original self-adjustable glasses, known as Adspecs, contain special lenses – two clear membranes filled with silicone fluid – that can be adjusted when more or less fluid is pumped between them. They are held between two protective plastic covers. The level of fluid can be changed by using a removable syringe and dial that attach to the glasses' frame. Depending on the amount of fluid, the curvature of the lenses changes, adjusting the strength. 

The good news is that to date, 40,000 pairs of the original Adspecs have already been produced and distributed worldwide. Dow Corning Corporation which is a global leader in silicone-based technology, has committed $3m to the Child ViSion initiative, with the aim of distributing 50,000 of the new children’s glasses through education programmes in the developing world to children aged 12-18. 

Learn more here or make a donation here.

via GOOD


The Eyeglasses That Could M...

Newsletter: Share: