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

How do you advertise that you are innovative?

February 16, 2007, 5:57 AM

So, I was thumbing through the most recent issue of FORTUNE magazine and clipping out some advertisements from corporate sponsors that touched on the innovation theme. I came up with three different ads -- tell me which one you like best. (At the end of the blog post, I'll tell you my choice)


Innovation_ad_1_1 Company: Toshiba

Tagline: "Innovative Like You."

Message: Cool, artistic, innovative people use Toshiba. Look at this guy - he's literally on top of the world.  (click on thumbnail for bigger image) He's wearing khakis and a blazer, so he's probably a creative type with a huge bank account. Plus, he's sitting in a swimming pool in some penthouse suite overlooking the city, making him appear to be a master of the universe. Look at how far innovation has brought him in life!

Key words in ad: "Entrepreneurial. Visionary. Versatile. Intelligent. The New Portege R400 Tablet PC."

Innovation_ad_2 Company: Cargill

Tagline: "Diversify the ingredients and you'll get more interesting results."

Message: Diversity is the key to innovation. Cargill has many diverse businesses. Cargill constantly looks for ways to capture diversity. Diversity, in short, makes the pancake taste better.

Key Words in ad: "Seeking new ideas from diverse sources is good for food and good for companies. Each day, Cargill is involved in food, nutrition, agriculture and supply chain management in over 60 countries around the world. Our work in diverse places has made us understand that good ideas can come from anyone, anywhere."


Innovation_ad_3 Company: Dow Chemical

Tagline: "And just like that, the laws of chemistry change."

Message: Dow Chemical is about more than chemicals - the company is about innovative solutions and solving human problems. From a few basic building blocks and principles, Dow Chemical is ready to wow and amaze you with solutions that are now environmentally friendly. Nothing flashy here - the ad is sparse, clean and simple.

Key words in ad: "Suddenly, chemistry is put to work solving human problems... And the energy released from reactions fuels a boundless spirit that will make the planet a safer, cleaner, more comfortable place for generations to come."


From a purely visual perspective, of course, the Toshiba ad rocks. But maybe that's a symptom of what's wrong with innovation these days? Innovation is being "sold" as something that is hip, imaginative, creative and, well, cool. Personally, I like ad #2 (Cargill). Why? Instead of opting for a typical "light bulb" image to symbolize creativity, the company uses pancakes, which fits in with the company's image as being a big, burly Midwestern kind of company that is reassuringly friendly. The company puts a premium on diversity, and tries to tell that story through a simple picture. At the end of the day, innovation is practical, but can result in adding some tasty maple syrup and blueberries to the everyday grind. Expectations about innovation are kept in check, and anyone can be an innovator on a daily basis, not just a cool dude with a Toshiba Tablet PC.


How do you advertise that y...

Newsletter: Share: