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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.

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12,000+ Expert Videos

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

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World Renowned Bloggers

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

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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.

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Peter Hopkins: Great Big Ideas for the Future of Higher Education

November 11, 2011, 12:43 PM
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Miles Grimshaw didn't get in to the most popular course at Yale this Fall. The course, Great Big Ideas, features the best experts, scholars and professionals the world has to offer. Despite not getting a seat, Grimshaw provided perhaps the most cogent analysis of the course's impact on higher education. Grimshaw described in a blog post how The Floating University, a new educational media venture offering online multimedia curricula at Harvard, Yale and Bard, is "both a disruptive and sustaining" innovation.

Big Think co-founder and President Peter Hopkins expanded on this point at a recent TEDxGotham conference in New York City. Hopkins said The Floating University -- a joint venture between Big Think and The Jack Parker Corporation -- has the dual aim to change the academy "from the outside," and also "move the bar forward from the inside."

What's the Big Idea?

Great Big Ideas delivers an undergraduate liberal arts education in 12 weeks. It's a survey of twelve major fields delivered by their most important thinkers and practitioners, including former Big Think guests Leon Botstein, Steven Pinker, Michio Kaku, Larry Summers, Doug Melton, Paul Bloom and many others. Each lecture explores the key questions in the field, lays out the methods for answering those inquiries and explains why the field matters. 

Watch Peter Hopkins here:

What's the Significance?

For the first time in more than three centuries, Harvard and Yale will concurrently offer the same course — and its primary "text" won't be a book, but rather a video lecture series comprising the world's greatest thinkers and leading scholars.

In his talk, Hopkins posed these four questions that directly relate to the significance of this innovation:

  • What business does a private enterprise have in developing courses for non-profit educational institutions?
  • What does the unbundling of top professors from their schools portend for the future of the academy?
  • How will democratizing access change the way we measure elite education?
  • How should education be measured--period?

This blog is meant to keep you updated on the latest Floating University developments. Stay tuned for more on The Floating University, its lecturers, courses, and offerings. To subscribe to The Floating University visit: www.floatinguniversity.com.

 

Peter Hopkins: Great Big Id...

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