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

How Challenge Becomes Opportunity

July 1, 2012, 5:45 PM

It was “Global Grand Challenges Week” at Singularity University, where 50 experts from all around the world visited us here at the NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley to share their insights about the core problems that plague our world. Broken up into 8 different categories, the GGCs include: Global Health, Water, Energy, Environment, Food, Education, Security, and Poverty.

If you recall last week’s post, I wrote about how the first step in the GSP journey involves a shift in mindset; to start thinking boldly and intuit The Law of Accelerating Returns. This new perspective was crucial throughout the week; As Einstein once said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Not being burdened by the failures of the past or the incompetencies of the present, the students’ forward-looking approach transforms these challenges into great opportunities.

 So despite a dose of realism, optimism at Singularity U remains as high as ever. We know we have the potential, both in mind and in technology, to solve these problems. The key lies in focus and execution.

As the GSP rolls on, these GGCs will be the motivation for the ideas and inventions that arise from the Team Projects. All of the technologies we’re learning about are cool, but what’s really cool is when they can be applied to change the world. Whether it’s finding a better way to capture and store solar energy, or desalinate water and distribute it to people in need, the Singularity U education about what is possible tomorrow is rooted by what is needed today.

The final session of the week closed with one of the more kumbaya-like moments of the summer, as a group of Teaching Fellows and students got together to do a Singularity-inspired spin on John Lennon’s “Imagine” - you have to see it to believe it.




How Challenge Becomes Oppor...

Newsletter: Share: