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

Ancient Trees

March 18, 2010, 6:36 AM
At least 50 trees around the world have staggeringly been around for more than a millennium, as trees are one of the oldest living organisms to grace this Earth. One secret to trees’ longevity is a complicated compartmentalized vascular system which enables part of the tree to die out while the rest continues to thrive. There are several other reasons that they live so long, including creating defensive compounds to fight off parasites and deadly bacteria. The great bristlecone pines can reach 3,000 years or more and don’t seem to age like we do, continuing to grow vigorously well into their thousands. “Some trees defy time by sending out clones, or genetically identical shoots, so that one trunk’s demise doesn’t spell the end for the organism. The giant colonies can have thousands of individual trunks, but share the same network of roots.” Wired has put together a gallery of some of the world’s oldest, most venerable and impressive trees, including the Pando, part of a colony of Quaking Aspen in Utah; the Methuselah, the world’s oldest individual living trees, rooted 10,000 feet above sea level in the Inyo National Forest, California; and the majestic Alerce tree, discovered in the Andes Mountains in south-central Chile.

Ancient Trees

Newsletter: Share: