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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What's the Latest Development?
This June, a wheelchair won top prize for student design at the annual conference of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA). Chalmers University of Technology students Christian Bremer and Erik Ohlson developed their prototype while working with a nonprofit company that provides wheelchairs for people in developing countries. They then took it to Indonesia, where testers -- including one who had not left her parents' home in the 10 years since her motorcycle accident -- gave them valuable feedback.
What's the Big Idea?
To make the wheelchair easier to use in areas with unpaved roads and other obstacles, Bremer and Ohlson gave it two different seat positions, each of which provides the user with the leverage they need to navigate safely. Unlike traditional chairs, theirs is almost entirely made out of steel, which means it can be serviced at any bicycle repair shop with welding equipment. Encouraged by the success of the prototype, Bremer and Ohlson hope to build more and, with the help of charities and other funding sources, make them available at little or no cost: "We want to live up to all of the expectations we have encountered from the users in Indonesia."
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