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.

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Ideas, Wow!

April 3, 2012, 12:18 PM

California-based TED is perhaps the most visible of the groups that are leading the crossover of serious intellectual thought into the pop mainstream. TED's approach – the 18 minute inspirational talk – could broadly be described as "Ideas, Wow!" New York's Big Think is on a slightly different tack, presenting big idea and skill lessons more incrementally, with the intention of helping its readers to assimilate the most influential thinking of the day and put it to work in their lives. 

Lucid NYC is taking a third road – hosting live events in a dinner-lounge setting, featuring a handful of diverse innovators from various disciplines. After the talks, which last 10-15 minutes each, the small audiences mingle with the presenters and one another. The result is what you make of it – MENSA style thinkers' club, mellow networking event, brainy dating opportunity – or a mix of all three. Whatever your angle, it's good, smart fun and a refreshing change from the usual hipster scene offerings. 

I attended a Lucid evening back in March, at Drom in the East Village. Thinkmodo's James Percelay spoke about viral marketing campaigns including one in which a woman's head was transformed into an iPad. Passers by could "read" her thoughts by interacting with the touchscreen. Photographer Kyoko Hamada talked about her recent visit to Fukishima province, the radiation-afflicted area of Japan which is now going about its post-disaster life, and how odd it was to see people living more or less normally alongside public geiger counters. Natalie Jeremijenko, an artist and engineer, proposed experimental urban designs, including elaborate zipline transportation systems. 

The idiosyncratic lineup worked well, I thought – the speakers were engaging and the format offered a broad spectrum of inroads and conversation starters for audience members with different interests. 

Lucid's back tomorrow with "Game culture, molecular cuisine, battalions of eco-friendly robotic boats, and sizzling New Orleans jazz.

If you're in New York, I'd strongly recommend checking it out. 

Big Think views the mainstream-ization of serious thought as a wholly positive development, and sees tremendous potential for its transformation from "Ideas, Wow!" to a more efficient way of helping people to connect the interdisciplinary dots, sparking innovation that can benefit us all. 



Follow Jason Gots (@jgots) on Twitter



Ideas, Wow!

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