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

1

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

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

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
Close

The Incredible Book That Educates And Provides Safe Drinking Water

August 27, 2014, 10:00 AM
Screen_shot_2014-08-27_at_10.25.59_am

3.4 million people die each year from water-related diseases 99% of which occur in the developing world. To put things in more perspective, lack of access to clean water and sanitation kills children at a rate equivalent of a jumbo jet crashing every four hours.1 There could hardly be anything more heartbreaking than watching a child complete his bucket list at four, because there is a 25% chance that he won't survive to turn five. 

Surprisingly, even a bigger problem than the lack of access to drinking water is the fact that most of the affected people, don’t even know that water is unsafe for drinking. A solution, therefore, must not only provide safe drinking water, but also educate on what makes water safe or unsafe.

the drinkable book

The Drinkable Book is an incredibly creative solution to both of these problems. It is a result of the collaboration between scientists from Carnegie Mellon and University of Virginia, the nonprofit WATERisLIFE, and the advertising agency DDB North America.

The book is a beautiful manual that provides information on water contaminants and teaches safe water habits. Each page, originally developed by chemist Theresa Dankovich, is about a millimeter thick and contains silver nanoparticles that kill 99.9% of bacteria found in water that can cause diseases such as cholera and typhoid. The book’s 3D printed cover doubles as a container for purifying the water. A filter made of half a page of the book can purify water for more than a month.

the drinkable book

the drinkable book

the drinkable book

 

The revolutionary filter paper costs just pennies to produce and could spark even more innovation in water filtration. Theresa has successfully crowdfunded the production of 1000 copies of The Drinkable Book and is currently testing them in Ghana, Haiti, Kenya and India, hoping to soon go in production on a larger scale. 

Photos: WATERisLIFE

 

 

The Incredible Book That Ed...

Newsletter: Share: