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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.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

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

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World Renowned Bloggers

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

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Big Think Edge

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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.

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Today’s Big Idea: Neuroplasticity

The Big Idea for Thursday, August 01, 2013

Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s extraordinary ability to adapt to new challenges. Researchers in neuropsychology have long observed that when one area of the brain is structurally compromised, other areas will compensate, sometimes even growing physically larger in the process.

And neuroplasticity isn’t only a compensatory mechanism. Increasingly, researchers are finding that specific activities and routines can cause the brain to develop or atrophy significantly at any age. The implications are enormous; what we choose to do and learn throughout our lives profoundly shapes who we are and what we’re capable of thinking.

This opens the door to a comprehensive reevaluation of what education means. The fast-changing job market has already made lifelong learning a professional necessity. Now we can embrace it not as a career move or a self-help gimmick, but as an essential part of what it means to be human.

Big Think Mentor, Big Think's new, lifelong learning channel on YouTube for personal and professional growth, is building a "core curriculum for 21st century living" – one that can keep you developing the life skills you need throughout your lifespan to keep pace with a fast-changing world.

 

Perspectives

  1. 1 Essential Life Skill #4: Making Connections
    Jason Gots Big Think Mentor
  2. 2 Ray Kurzweil: Memorization is For Robots. People Learn By Doing.
    Jason Gots Think Tank
  3. 3 Humans Are the World's Best Pattern-Recognition Machines, But for How Long?
    Dominic Basulto Endless Innovation
  4. 4 What it Means to Be in Your Element (with Sir Ken Robinson)
    Jason Gots Big Think Mentor
 

Today’s Big Idea: Neuroplas...

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