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

Occupy Wall Street & the History of Leaderless Movements

October 14, 2011, 3:36 PM

What's the Latest Development?

The movement to Occupy Wall Street has already become a veritable who's who of activism with Michael Moore, Jeffrey Sachs and Slavoj Zizek in attendance. Yet a visible leader has yet to emerge from Zuccotti Park in New York City. Rather than select a figure head, OWS "wants to avoid replicating the authoritarian structures of the institutions they are opposing." During the daily general assembly meetings held in the park, individuals are invited to voice a concern and explain his or her point of view.

What's the Big Idea?

Ford University sociologist Heather Gautney says that leaderless movements like OWS have been successful at changing the orientation of American society. The feminist and gay rights movements both eschewed formal leadership in favor of a decentralized decision making structure, she says. "The people no longer trust their leaders and are even starting to indict the system itself. They think we can do better. We are all leaders." Gautney says such a leadership style is messy but that efficiency is not the point. Democracy is. 


Occupy Wall Street & the Hi...

Newsletter: Share: