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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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Bully Pulpit

The Big Idea for Thursday, November 28, 2013

The term "bully pulpit" was coined by President Theodore Roosevelt who used it to describe the White House as a platform for persuasion. 

In today's lesson, the historian Doris Kearns Goodwin explains how this platform extended beyond the White House. Indeed, Roosevelt displayed a mastery for dealing with the press, the vehicle by which his message reached a mass audience. 

Goodwin also explores the question of what the bully pulpit means in our media environment today. Do we have the capacity to have serious conversations about issues or do these conversations tend to get lost in all of the noise around us?


  1. 1 Teddy Roosevelt and the Lost Art of Persuasion
    Big Think Editors Big Think TV
  2. 2 Teddy Roosevelt's Lessons in Media-Savvy
    Big Think Editors What's New at Big Think
  3. 3 How to Influence Others
    Robert Cialdini
  4. 4 A Software Toolkit for Your Information Diet
    Clay Johnson

Bully Pulpit

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