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

An Innovative Idea Starts with a Question That Isn't Normal

November 24, 2013, 9:00 AM

Innovators, they start with a question.  Questions that are not normal.  They provoke the status quo.  They challenge the way things are.  They turn things a bit upside down.  And the way innovators do this is they’re first asking a series of questions around what’s going on in the situation. 

So it’s explain the territory to me and they’re asking questions around that.  And then they move to what might be by asking what if and how might and why not – just to open up and explore the world.  So one of the founders of Priceline.com told us about one of the questions that led to their creating that company.  

And it was what if we woke up tomorrow and we were legally prohibited from selling our products and services to our existing customers?  What would we do?  How would we redeploy our assets to a completely different customer base?  And that helped them go down a completely different path.  Steve Jobs was great at asking a completely non-constraining question which was what if money were no object, what would we do here?  And so sometimes it’s like opening up constraints.  Sometimes it’s creating constraints.  But it basically helps us see things differently. 

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock



An Innovative Idea Starts w...

Newsletter: Share: