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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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New World Order

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New World Order

College Internships Are Going Global

about 2 years ago

What is the Big Idea? The world is becoming increasingly interconnected and more employers are looking for candidates with global experience. Now, college students are getting in on the action by gaining work experience in overseas internships. Cheryl Miyake, a junior at Stanford majoring in ...

New World Order

The Middle Man Takes Center Stage

about 2 years ago

What’s the Big Idea?  Want to scare a book publisher, a record store owner, or even a doctor? Creep up behind her and shout: disintermediation! This is the term du jour for "cutting out the middle man," which happens any time a producer of something - a writer, a band, or a pharmaceutical ...

New World Order

Your iPhone Could Be Arming Congolese Rebels

about 2 years ago

What is the Big Idea? Tacked on to the end of the lengthy Dodd-Frank Act, which imposed new government safeguards after the U.S. financial crisis, there is an unusual provision that requires publicly traded companies whose products might contain minerals from the conflict-ridden areas in Central ...

New World Order

An Israeli-Iranian Meme Lovefest

about 2 years ago

What is the Big Idea? While Israel and Iran teeter on the brink of war, two Israeli graphic designers decided to reach out to Iranian citizens by creating a slogan that Internet users can impose over any photo of their choice. The text reads "Iranians, We Love You." Iran's netizens responded ...

New World Order

Serbia's Secret To Good Health

about 2 years ago

Eastern Europe isn’t known as a mecca for healthy living. Those who haven’t visited Eastern Europe might still imagine that it’s filled with smoking teenagers and obese babushkas. Although that still exists, Eastern Europeans have some healthy practices that we could all learn from. For example ...

New World Order

The Medical Brain Drain

about 2 years ago

What is the Big Idea? Zambia-born Kunj Desai is a doctor in Newark, NJ where his salary is nearly ten times that of what he gets paid back home. He practices medicine in modern facilities and utilizes sophisticated technology to treat his patients. This is a stark contrast to how Desai's friend ...

New World Order

Don’t Close Taxpayers Wallets too Fast

about 2 years ago

News of ongoing economic uncertainty surrounds us.  In delivering his semiannual monetary policy report to Congress recently in Washington, U.S. Chairman Ben Bernanke urged drastic reduction in the government’s long-term deficit. "The United States is on an unsustainable fiscal path looking out ...

New World Order

Subversive Art and Russia's Protest Movement

about 2 years ago

What is the Big Idea? Graffiti artist P183, whose real name is Pavel, canvasses the streets of Moscow at night armed with a can of spray paint. One of his murals depicts a grandmother and child holed up in a shelter with a bomb looming overhead. This is P183's commentary on Vladimir Putin's ...