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

500 New Fairy Tales Discovered in Germany

June 25, 2014, 9:30 AM

What's the Latest?

Locked away in an archive for 150 years, a collection of 500 fairytales has been rediscovered by German cultural curators. The stories were recorded in the middle of the 19th century by oral historian Franz Xaver von Schönwerth. "Von Schönwerth spent decades asking country folk, labourers and servants about local habits, traditions, customs and history, and putting down on paper what had only been passed on by word of mouth." In one story, a princess escapes an evil witch by turning herself into a lake. When the unsuspecting witch drinks the lake dry, the princess returns to her original form and cuts her way out of the witch from the inside.

What's the Big Idea?

Von Schönwerth was a contemporary of the more famous Grimm brothers, who likewise travelled the countryside recording the oral traditions of local populations. In 1885, Jacob Grimm said about Von Schönwerth: "Nowhere in the whole of Germany is anyone collecting [folklore] so accurately, thoroughly and with such a sensitive ear." Grimm even told Bavaria's King, Maximilian II, that the only person who could replace him in his and his brother's work was Von Schönwerth. While the Grimm brothers searched for their own literary style, Von Schönwerth was more dutiful in his work, making no attempt to romanticize or polish the tales.

Read one of the tales at the Guardian

Photo credit: Shutterstock


500 New Fairy Tales Discove...

Newsletter: Share: