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

For 20 Days, This App Connects Two Strangers Who Will Never Meet

May 10, 2014, 6:35 PM

What's the Latest Development?

Developers at MIT Media Lab's Playful Systems group are working on an iPhone app that they say will use common mobile features to foster compassion and understanding between people. As its title implies, 20 Day Stranger will match two complete strangers and allow them to see descriptions of each other's activities that are intentionally vague (such as "at a cafe" or "near an airport") for just under three weeks. The app uses the phone's sensors as well as general data from services like Instagram and Google Maps to give just enough information without revealing private details such as names or specific addresses.

What's the Big Idea?

The app is the brainchild of Tinsley Galyean, who co-directs MIT's Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values and broached the idea to the development group. "[It] isn’t to make your life transparent," says Playful Systems director Kevin Slavin, "it’s to give just enough to wonder and imagine and ultimately, to care. It is explicitly about producing imagination and conjecture, not transmitting information." Indeed, the app only serves to link two anonymous people who, at the end, will ideally gain some insights into everyday living.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at The Boston Herald


For 20 Days, This App Conne...

Newsletter: Share: