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.

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

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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.

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Stanford's Free Online Education Experiment

November 22, 2011, 1:00 PM

What's the Latest Development?

Stanford's experiment in offering its three most popular computer science classes to the public online for free has seen 200,000 people from around the globe sign up. Introduction to Artificial Intelligence alone has attracted 160,000 students, of which more than 35,000 have stuck with it, handing in assignments and doing exams along with the 175 students paying to take the class in person. 

What's the Big Idea?

What's unique about Stanford’s offering compared to MIT's decade-old Open CourseWare and other online learning projects is that Stanford’s professors give their virtual lectures the same feel as the in-person experience, even taking questions from their virtual students. A growing number of professors are interested in making knowledge accessible to the masses, regardless of ability to pay.

Image: shutterstock.com


Stanford's Free Online Educ...

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