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

Capitalism: Reject or Retool?

January 9, 2012, 3:30 PM

What's the Latest Development?

The long-term problems implied by the world's current economic slump are very real, says Larry Summers. The former Treasury Secretary and president of Harvard says people are right to wonder if capitalism is effective at promoting employment and sustaining a broad-based middle class. In finding a solution to our impasse, Summers flags two questions as especially relevant: "Do today’s problems inhere in the present form of market capitalism or are they subject to more direct solution? Are there imaginable better alternatives?" 

What's the Big Idea?

Everywhere capitalism has taken root, it ability to create wealth better than any other system is undeniable, says Summers. But he also concedes there are serious questions about its fairness. The advance of technology has limited employment gains (even Chinese employment is down) and helped concentrate wealth in the hands of a lucky few. Worse, industrialized countries with fairer taxation policies and more substantial social benefits are bankrupt. Thus health, education and social protection are most in need of reinvention.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com



Capitalism: Reject or Retool?

Newsletter: Share: