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.

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Why You Need the Crowd

April 25, 2014, 11:50 AM

What's so special about crowdfunding is that it's not just a one way exchange. It's democratic; it's collaborative. Crowdfunding allows for an open dialogue between the project creators and their backers. And the special part about it is that both have something essential to offer and share. 

The project creators offer a product, a pitch, and rewards while the backers offer the capital to make it happen. But beyond money, backers also offer their suggestions, concerns, and expectations as consumers. This might be more important than the funds themselves. Does the public want to see your vision realized? Why or why not? What’s holding back someone from pledging? If you’re attentive to your community, they’ll tell you. 

While the open exchange allows creators to fine tune and develop a better product, its also uniquely beneficial to the backers. It gives them a place to have their voice heard, allows them to make suggestions, ask questions, and express opinions about what is important to them as consumers. Imagine if corporate conference rooms opened up their product development meetings to the world and listened closely to what people wanted: that's crowdfunding.

And there’s urgency to it. With only 30 days to raise the funds the project creators have further incentive to engage with their community frequently and efficiently. Plus, the discussion is public and transparent. This is good for the backers, because it holds the project creators accountable for doing what they say they will do. And by being responsive these same creators can prove themselves reliable and build credibility. 

When approached correctly the process of crowdfunding can be much more than a single transaction. It raises funds, but also exchanges ideas and inspiration through engagement. And that's priceless.

Image credit: Trueffelpix/Shutterstock


Why You Need the Crowd

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