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 Intelligence

The Big Idea for Monday, March 04, 2013

If we are committed to harnessing the power of collective intelligence in a democracy, then we also need to embrace the complimentary idea of full citizenship. What is full citizenship?

Right now American democracy relies on a number of "power users" who regularly show up and vote. Full citizenship, on the other hand, is the situation in which all citizen view themselves as change agents. That doesn't simply mean voting, but also participating in all kinds of civic behavior. 

In today's lesson, Rishi Jaitly argues that these behaviors need to be nourished in order to improve our communities and re-engage our citizens with democracy. 


  1. 1 The Long, Sexy Tail of Citizenship
    Daniel Honan Collective Intelligence
  2. 2 David Maine: How do you define citizenship?
    David Maine
  3. 3 Lee Hamilton On Civic Duty
    Lee Hamilton
  4. 4 Why Donating Is More Popular Than Voting
    Reynold Levy

Collective Intelligence

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