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

Leading Technologies for Developing Countries

August 10, 2012, 12:58 PM

There are many people in the world who do not worry about not having access to the Internet or being able to use a computer on a day to day basis, but there are a lot of places in the world where people don’t have the option. However, there are many companies, businesses and charities that strive to make these available to everyone in the world, including developing countries. Getting technology into the hands of people and countries that need it most can help improve their government, enforce human rights, encourage learning and growth in children and even save lives by giving them access to health care and health information. 

Cell phones are becoming a common thing in many developing countries because the cost can be quite cheap and still give people access to technology. This opens up many doors in health awareness, banking and economy, and overcomes language barriers. Companies and organizations, like Project Masilueke, are enabling health awareness alerts over text messaging. People who have cell phones in countries like China, India, and Africa now can get awareness alerts about HIV and AIDS, and some programs even send out reminders to patients to take their medication. By having a phone that has banking capabilities, people who don't have a bank account or home address can have a bank account set up with their phone. This allows for employees and merchants to still be able to get paid and in a timely manner. With this capability, the economy of that particular community will be able to grow and develop, as well as trade with other countries, with help of translators. Many phones are also able to translate different languages and dialects, making it easier for people to interact with different communities. 

Computers are also important for developing countries. Not only will computers help in similar ways as cell phones will, but they also promote literacy and education, which, in turn, could help with the economy and government. With access to computers, students can now learn to read, write and create, as well as build skills for the future. People that have access to laptop computers have the option to learn and work either at a school, office, or their homes. Computers allow for people to build new skill sets giving them the opportunity for a job. Businesses that have computers will also need personnel who know how to operate computers and their software, as well as personnel who can fix them. Children and adults in countries that do have computers are able to access to text books, health information and government documents such as birth certificates. 

The Internet opens a world of information to people and could help the people and communities in developing countries. Internet access helps people participate in society, community and world affairs. Making Internet access available to these countries is just as important as offering them the tools that use Internet, such as cell phones and computers. Different organizations like One Laptop Per Child aim to make sure that the laptops that students get have access to the Internet.

There are companies and organizations that are helping to get internet access throughout the countries; some of them have even looked into using solar power to generate free WiFi. Having this option available allows people to participate in different social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, ensuring that they have a voice in their community and government. While things like phones, computers and internet may seem like second nature to many of us; it is ground breaking technology to others. These technologies allow for these countries to grow, develop, and associate with the rest of the world on the same technological level. 


Leading Technologies for De...

Newsletter: Share: