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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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Got Grit?

August 1, 2013, 9:25 PM

What is grit?  Grit has been defined by researchers in slightly different but consistent ways.  It is hard work plus dedication, perseverance and persistence in the face of adversity, passion for long term goals, or Gladwell's 10,000 hours plus a little bit of fanaticism.  

Grit has made its way into contemporary research because we cannot really explain success, especially in college environments. We would like to believe that High School GPA, SAT, and class rank are good predictors of performance because they are so-called objective measures of intelligence. However these metrics explain only a very small portion of the academic performance story. This means that there is a lot about performance and achievement that we cannot explain with these traditional measures of merit. Education speaker Paul Tough suggests that a portion of this can be explained by grit.  He argues that the higher you score on the grit scale, the greater your grit, and the greater your chances of achieving your future goals. 

According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, college success requires initiative and persistence, i.e. grit. This is causing many colleges to think beyond non-cognitive measures to capture grit.



Got Grit?

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