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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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Deep Transformations Can Take Place in Small Initiatives

June 1, 2014, 12:00 AM

Society is a product of our actions; it does not abide by natural laws that rule, for instance, atomic structure. We create society, every day, with our actions.

This engine is often misunderstood in the great debates of academics looking to box us into their search for intrinsic laws. They have lost touch with the forces creating social life. Society is our creation and cannot be confined by laws of structure. 

“It’s not architecture, it’s music,” says Roberto Unger, the renowned philosopher and Brazilian politician, on false necessity, the theory that argues that social organizations can be shaped in new ways, and can't be limited by any supposed natural laws. “What is the central problem in contemporary social thought? The central problem is the breaking of the vital link between insight into the actual and imagination of the possible, imagination of the adjacent possible of what can happen next."

Unger's humanistic outlook puts faith in small changes adding up to deep transformation. He explains: “Change requires neither saintliness nor genius. What it does require is the conviction of the incomparable value of life. Nothing should matter more to us than the attempt to grasp our life while we have it and to awaken from this slumber of routine of compromise and of prostration so that we may die only once. Hope is not the condition or cause of action. Hope is the consequence of action. And those who fail in hope should act practically or conceptually so that they may hope.”


Deep Transformations Can Ta...

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