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

Getting Just The Right Amount Of User ID

December 18, 2012, 12:58 PM

What's the Latest Development?

Jan Camenisch, a lead scientist at IBM's research center in Switzerland, has created identification technology that will divulge only the bare minimum of data needed for a site to authenticate a user. Identity Mixer works through the use of tokens that verify specific pieces of data, such as age or name, against the data contained in a third-party database. IBM is currently testing the technology in various applications; Camenisch says that one college in Greece has been using it successfully for course evaluations, faculty rankings, and student polls.

What's the Big Idea?

Online privacy concerns almost everyone, but the European Union is especially focused on it, which is one reason why Camenisch believes they contributed to funding the research. The government recently launched a program, Future ID, which restricts the amount of personal data divulged via official ID cards. IBM hopes to make Identity Mixer technology the underlying structure behind the EU's program, and in doing so, continue to grow its new Security Services unit, which will compete with other online privacy companies, such as Symantec.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com


Getting Just The Right Amou...

Newsletter: Share: