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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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Innovation Begins by Asking the Right Questions

August 11, 2014, 12:51 PM

As we’ve reported here previously at Big Think, asking the right questions can be powerful. As leadership expert Daniel Pink explained in our video interview, managers and executives must know which questions to ask if they want to influence others. So put aside the grand speeches, and listen to others to learn what questions need to be asked. This practice is also the key to innovation, journalist Warren Berger, the author of A More Beautiful Question, explains.

"...If you look at a lot of the innovations and breakthroughs today and you trace them back, as I did in my research, to their origin, a lot of times what you find at the root of it all is a great question; a beautiful question of someone asking why isn't someone doing this or what if someone tried to do that? So I found that questions are often at the root of innovation." 

In the below interview, Berger points to the lessons we can learn from children. There’s a reason why children ask so many questions: they’re learning to see the world in new ways. If you want to create fresh thinking and breakthroughs, learn to see the world through the eyes of a child by asking questions. Ask away! Take pride in the things that you do not know. This, of course, is counterintuitive in the high-pressured world of business where executives are expected to have all of the answers.

But as Berger explains in this clip from our interview, asking the right questions is at the heart of innovation:

Image credit: Shutterstock


Innovation Begins by Asking...

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