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.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

Storming the Ivory Tower!

The Big Idea for Thursday, February 02, 2012

What does a college degree mean today? For many people, the answer is debt.

"It's frightening that we encourage young people, often when they're not even legal adults yet -- they can't legally vote, they can't join the military, they can't legally buy a pack of cigarettes or beer -- but it's fine if they want to sign their name off to a $100,000 in student debt, which they will not be able to get out of, " says Michael Ellsberg, a writer who himself went to Brown and spent a good part of his twenties living with his parents. The average 22-year-old graduate now starts off his or her adult life $23,000 in the hole. Where's all the money going?

To building resort-style facilities that students don't want or need, says Andrew Rosen of Kaplan. Parag and Ayesha Khanna explore the implications of a writer who confesses that he earns a fruitful living churning out academic papers of all shapes and sizes for university and post-graduate students all across America.


  1. 1 Reinventing the University
    Big Think Editors Re-Envision
  2. 2 The Shadow Education Economy
    Parag and Ayesha Khanna Hybrid Reality
  3. 3 Earth to Academia: Student Loan Debt Is Mounting - And It's Unethical.
    Megan Erickson Think Tank
  4. 4 Diversity in Higher Education
    Shirley Tilghman

Storming the Ivory Tower!

Newsletter: Share: