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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Collective Flow States

The Big Idea for Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cognitive studies offer us clear evidence as to why we are often such bad collaborators. Nearly 50 percent of our thoughts are aimless. We are not deeply conscious of others around us. We need to train our minds to become effective collaborators.

In today's lesson, philanthropist Jeff Walker uses the analogy of playing in a jazz band to illustrate the mental state that people need to enter into in order to collectively solve problems. This can be accomplished in a number of ways and settings. And yet, ultimately, Walker says, individuals need to take responsibility for becoming more conscious of those around them.  


  1. 1 Get in the Flow State: What Jazz Can Teach You About Collaboration
    Big Think Editors Big Think TV
  2. 2 The Modern Office Doesn't Really Foster Collaboration
    Jason Fried
  3. 3 What Your HR Department Can Learn From Jazz
    Sylvia Ann Hewlett
  4. 4 Daniel Kahneman: Adversarial Collaboration
    Daniel Kahneman

Collective Flow States

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