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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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GE's Former Lawyer Recalls his Worst Day

November 11, 2009, 6:18 PM

Ben Heineman’s book, High Performance with High Integrity, is a sort of memo to CEOs on how to run a major company. He would know; Heineman was GE’s general counsel for years. A few weeks ago, he sat down with Big Think to talk about what it was like advising the CEOs of America’s largest company.

He walks us through his worst day on the job—when the Israeli press leaked an internal scandal—and how he handled getting the message out to the employees and the public. When you’re working for any major company, it isn’t just about making sure that your business practices are legal. What about ethical? Heineman describes an ethical battle that GE faced, and how he helped them handle it. A senior fellow at Harvard Law School, he also weighs in on what he foresees the future of the legal profession being. Will we see a disappearance of the billable hour?


GE's Former Lawyer Recalls ...

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