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

Scalable learning

The Big Idea for Thursday, September 05, 2013

Business enterprise in the 20th century was very much based on the idea of scalable efficiency. This idea worked very well for large-scale manufacturing, transportation and other types of enterprises that, according to innovation guru John Seely Brown, "used infrastructure and the relative stability of the day to get bigger quickly through push marketing and production at scale."

But this mindset will only take you so far in the context of today's unstable, rapidly evolving digital infrastructure. To succeed today, you need to figure out how to move efforts from scalable efficiency to scalable learning. In other words, you need to get better, faster. 

Where does this accelerated capability come from? Here's the good news that you should embrace: Individuals will increasingly reshape institutions, rather than vice versa, says John Seely Brown. So how can individuals be empowered to help create a culture of innovation?



  1. 1 The Value of Scalable Learning, Or How a Hardcore Geek Became a Softy
    Big Think Editors Big Think Edge
  2. 2 Why Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Change the World
    John Seely Brown
  3. 3 5 Minute Drill: How to Negotiate Like a Pro
    Big Think Editors Big Think Edge
  4. 4 How World of Warcraft Could Save Your Business and The Economy
    John Seely Brown

Scalable learning

Newsletter: Share: