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.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

Why Brazil Needs to Win the World Cup

June 11, 2014, 12:00 AM

Are you a country that needs an economic boost? Just make sure that your national team wins the World Cup.

Soccer fever is upon us, or football fever as the rest of the world refers to the sport that Americans just can’t seem to appreciate. Big Think’s resident economist Daniel Altman explains why Brazil needs the economic points of not only hosting the World Cup, and all 32 competing teams, but must win it as well. And let’s add in the pressure that there must be no major security disruptions, to ensure people’s safety and win investor confidence. That’s what we call an economic hat trick.  

After losing to Uruguay last time it hosted the tournament, can Brazil beat its soccer and economic slump? “In the past we've seen a pattern where countries that host the World Cup don't necessarily make off that much better economically, but countries that win the World Cup do seem to get a little boost over the next few years. So this could be just the confidence boost that the Brazilian economy needs,” he explains.

Altman points out that Brazil has won the World Cup before, five times to be exact—more than any other country. It hasn’t hosted the event since 1950, and its economy in recent years has been lagging. There are also fears that it doesn’t have what it takes to ensure a smooth tournament.

“There have been a lot of dire predictions about how safe people will be, whether the Brazilian World Cup will turn into something of a disaster and an embarrassment,” says Alter. “I don't think they're likely to turn out to be true, because we heard a lot of the same predictions before the World Cup in South Africa four years ago.”

For more on Altman’s insights into the 2014 World Cup and what’s at stake for the host country, watch this clip from Big Think’s interview:


Why Brazil Needs to Win the...

Newsletter: Share: