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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Power and Influence

The Big Idea for Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"We are the only country that has the capacity to take in people and 'make them American,'" says Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center. But who decides who gets to be an American? Bill Richardson, the former governor of New Mexico, and Kevin Ryan, internet entrepreneur, believe that the United States' restrictive immigration policy is getting in the way of business' ability to hire skilled technology workers and hampering innovation. Economist Daniel Altman argues that brain drain can undermine political stability and global economic growth. And immigration expert Lenni Benson re-examines the question of whether Americans ever welcomed foreigners with open arms in the first place.


  1. 1 Is the U.S. Still the "Land of the Free?"
    Big Think Editors Re-Envision
  2. 2 America and Immigrants: A Fraught History
    Lenni Benson
  3. 3 Bill Richardson: Immigration and the Competitive Edge
    Bill Richardson
  4. 4 The Brain Drain Game: Why Everybody Loses.
    Jason Gots Think Tank

Power and Influence

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