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

Man Versus Machine: The Jobs Crisis in the U.S. and the Developing World

September 10, 2013, 12:15 PM

When you’re talking about emerging and frontier markets, you’re talking about populations and societies and countries that have actually very poor infrastructure. 

So the one thing that robots are actually doing is building their country; building roads, buildings and other kinds of things.  So construction is still one of the two or three largest industries in the entire world.  Agriculture, bear in mind, still employs 40 percent of the world population.  So there isn’t one answer for the emerging market billions, but it’s actually still in very traditional areas.  

And that said, these are also societies where the share of GDP that comes from services rather than manufacturing is increasing because they too are either being displaced by poor workers elsewhere or through automation in places like FoxConn.  So believe it or not, much faster than we would have expected, those who are in the middle class or lower middle class around the world are facing the same conundrum irrespective of whether they’re living in China or in the United States. 

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

Image courtesy of Shutterstock



Man Versus Machine: The Job...

Newsletter: Share: