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

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

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
Close

Will Oratory Cut It in Cairo?

June 3, 2009, 12:22 PM
Images

The much-heralded speech to the Muslim world is upon us. But just what will Obama say to the throng in Cairo tomorrow? Three writers share their guesses.

Reza Aslan knows what Obama is unlikely to articulate in his speech: any mention of democracy. It's an irony of ironies that the president choose Egypt for his podium, a country, Aslan points out, that has an abysmal record when it comes to free speech and protecting civil society. "It will be surprising if the word "democracy" even escapes Obama's lips," Aslan writes.

Ramez Maluf reminds readers in Foreign Policy that the issue closest to listeners' hearts will be the same issue that has existed for decades: the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Selling America back to the Muslim world, he says, is contingent upon some overture to the Palestinian sympathies in the six decade old imbroglio.

Similarly, Roger Cohen writes in the Times that the continued expansion of Jewish settlements within Palestinian territory is the linchpin in any regional peace. He offers the original 1967 Israeli borders, that have shrunk and expanded countless times over the intervening decades, as a point of departure at the U.S.-led negotiation table.

Essential pre-speech viewing:

A great number of Big Think experts have addressed the issues close the hearts of Muslims, among them are:

Director of the Muslim Studies Group Dahlia Mogahed

Businessweek editor Paul Barrett

Council on Foreign Relations fellow Vali Nasr

Professor of Islamic Studies Reza Aslan

 

Will Oratory Cut It in Cairo?

Newsletter: Share: