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

Why the Time is Ripe to Disrupt Higher Education

June 29, 2014, 3:00 PM

What's the Latest?

A second generation of online educational opportunities is beginning to revolutionize higher education in ways sorely needed, argues the Economist. Originally called Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, the movement of lecture-style courses on topics like electrical engineering and artificial intelligence failed to realize its immediate promise. But now one online-ed provider, Udacity, is working with AT&T and Georgia Tech to offer an online master's degree in computing, at less than a third of the cost of the traditional version. "Harvard Business School will soon offer an online 'pre-MBA' for $1,500. Starbucks has offered to help pay for its staff to take online degrees with Arizona State University."

What's the Big Idea?

The ballooning cost of college plus the pace of technological innovation has ripened the time for innovating higher education. In the US, government funding per college students fell 27% from 2007 to 2012 while the cost of tuition fees, adjusted for inflation, rose 20% simultaneously. The labor market has also changed, requiring serious mid-career efforts at continuing education. "According to a study from Oxford University, 47% of occupations are at risk of being automated in the next few decades. As innovation wipes out some jobs and changes others, people will need to top up their human capital throughout their lives."

Read more at the Economist

Photo credit: Maksim Kabakou/Shutterstock


Why the Time is Ripe to Dis...

Newsletter: Share: