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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.

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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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Disruptive Innovation

The Big Idea for Sunday, April 14, 2013

The widely reported shutdown of Central Nervous System research programs is part of a process begun long ago, and that is for drug companies to outsource riskier types of development to academia as well as smaller, less risk-averse drug companies. 

In today's lesson, Kas Thomas sees this as a welcome development. "I can't think of an area that's more ripe for the entry of small, disruptive, upstart companies," Thomas writes. "The big guys had their day. They did a mediocre job. Time for some fresh blood."



  1. 1 Where Will the Next Prozac Come From?
    Kas Thomas Devil in the Data
  2. 2 Big Pharma, Meet the Future
    Fred Hassan
  3. 3 Disruptive Technologies and Disruptive Innovations
    Clayton Christensen
  4. 4 How Medical Research Can Harm Us All
    Tauriq Moosa Against the New Taboo

Disruptive Innovation

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