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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.

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The Big Idea for Friday, April 26, 2013

In our data-driven age we tend to want to get to the big picture as quickly and effortlessly as possible, so much so, in fact, that we can easily lose sight of the people behind the numbers.

In other words, while an economist crunches numbers ostensibly to help people improve their lives, or at the very least to help limit human misery, can he or she do their job effectively without seeing the person who will be affected by the outcome?

In today's lesson, Peter Henry, dean of the Stern School of Business at NYU shares a story from his childhood in Jamaica that helps him stay focused on why he is doing what he is doing. As he tells Big Think, he is trying to figure out how to help people help themselves.

In many professions it is easy to lose site of people, and relationships among peoples, as opposed to the commodities that are exchanged. We can only overcome that through refamiliarization, or the process of becoming reacquainted with humanity. 


  1. 1 Miss Mama's Guide to Economic Success
    Peter Henry In Their Own Words
  2. 2 What is the right approach to poverty?
    John Legend
  3. 3 The Upward Spiral of Capitalism and the End of Poverty
    John Mackey
  4. 4 What is a government's role in alleviating poverty?
    Muhammad Yunus


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