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

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

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
Close

How Cooperative Banking Can Improve the Economy (and Our Lives)

May 25, 2012, 10:15 AM
Bank%20ss

What's the Latest Development?

Since 2010, an estimated 10 million bank accounts have been moved from multinational financial institutions to community credit unions and other kinds of cooperative, ethical banks. For the first time ever, credit union assets have risen over $1 trillion, reports the Credit Union National Association. The sea change represents the public's displeasure with corporate profits that come at the expense of communities' well-being. Profit-making practices like speculation drive up commodity prices; levered buyouts can result in layoffs and factory closures; and investment in foreign companies can trade off with the success of local businesses. 

What's the Big Idea?

To date, European countries have been more forward thinking about banking alternatives than the US. Triodos Bank is perhaps the international leader with offices in the Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Germany. The bank currently invests in organic food production, renewable energy, fair trade agriculture, micro-financing and cultural programs. In the US, One PacificCoast Bank and New Resource Bank are similarly interested in community development. Another alternative is state-owned banks. In North Dakota, such a a system has kept the state out of budget crises, reporting a surplus each year. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com


 

How Cooperative Banking Can...

Newsletter: Share: