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

Nice Guys Finish First: How Empathy Leads to Success

April 9, 2013, 10:38 AM

"Although we often stereotype givers as chumps and doormats, they turn out to be surprisingly successful." So writes Adam Grant in his celebrated new book, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success. Grant is an organizational psychologist at Wharton who has studied the question of reciprocity in the professional context. His research has found that not only do our interactions with others greatly determine our success, but givers often achieve "extraordinary results across a wide range of industries."

Another book, The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates, tackles this same question, from a different perspective. The Dutch primatologist and ethologist Frans de Waal looks at the evolutionary origins of empathy, noting that apes, for instance, will "voluntarily open a door to offer a companion access to food, even if they lose part of it in the process."

Like Grant, de Waal's big idea is that "compassion goes to the root of what life is all about." 

The authors also share one other thing in common: they will both be appearing in Big Think's studios tomorrow, and we invite you to submit your questions to them in the comments below. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


Nice Guys Finish First: How...

Newsletter: Share: