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

Introduction: The Future of Capitalism

November 15, 2010, 6:56 PM
2067062407_a69bfffe11_b

In the future, we may manufacture the products that we used to buy at the store right in our very own homes. We may also find ourselves buying products that only exist online or on Second Life. When we do purchase an item, we'll be adding to an infinitely large pool of data that will then be collected, sliced, and analyzed to make products and services that better serve our needs and interests. For better or worse, we will increasingly place our trust in computers and "the cloud."

But even as technological shifts are making the processes of capitalism ever more fluid and efficient, the recent global economic crisis has exposed weakness in our economic systems. Looking ahead, what can businesses and governments do to better ensure the growth and stability of their capitalist economies? What can be learned from China, as its free market capitalism emerges under the strict guidance of its authoritarian government? And how with technological change affect the way we live?

These are the questions being addressed in Big Think's newest special series, The Future of Capitalism, which is made by possible by Deep Change. The series features exclusive video interviews with John Mackey (CEO of Whole Foods), Peter Thiel (CEO Clarium Capital), Ruth Porat (CFO of Morgan Stanley), Sheila Blair (Chairman of the FDIC), Lawrence Koh (CEO of Internation Diversified Products), Kip Tindell (CEO of the Container Store) and Doug Rauch (CEO of Trader Joe's).

Features in the series, set to run daily for the next nine days, include:

  • Will 3D Printing Spur a Home Manufacturing Revolution?
  • Relatively low cost rapid prototyping technology is allowing entrepreneurs to manufacture products directly from computer files. What if this technology were as ubiquitous as the home microwave?

  • Economies In Silica: The Rise of Virtual Currency
  • The U.S. virtual goods market is estimated to grow by 40 percent from $1.6 billion this year to $2.1 billion in 2011. At this pace, the virtual currencies used to pay for these virtual products may soon begin devaluing the world's real currencies.

  • Welcome to the Data Driven World
  • You're more likely to buy a weekend rental car after you've read an obituary. This is just one example of a trend that business analysts have teased from the endless amount of "data exhaust" that each of us creates on daily basis. Many predict in the coming decades businesses will finally begin to realize what it all means.

  • The China Consensus
  • Since 1978 China's economy has moved towards free market capitalism, but the government has retained an authoritarian hold, allowing the state to divert resources as it sees fit. As so-called state capitalist-governed nations like China, Brazil, and Russia grow in importance in the next century, a battle is brewing between states and the free market.

 

Introduction: The Future of...

Newsletter: Share: