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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.

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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Today's Big Idea: Blind Spots

The Big Idea for Monday, September 24, 2012

We would all like to think that we are not like Bernie Madoff. And perhaps most of us are correct in that self-assessment. And yet, studies show that individuals always tend to overrate their own ethical compasses. We're not as ethically pure as we think we are. Just wait until you find yourself in a context you've never encountered before. What tools do you possess to guide you through the ethical minefield that is business in the 21st century?

Andrew Likierman, dean of the London Business School, says that anyone going into business today needs ethical training. This training goes well beyond the question of whether you would steal from someone or accept a bribe. What if your personal ethics conflict with that of your business? What can you do to prepare yourself ahead of time so you will be ready when the inevitable clash occurs? 


  1. 1 The Ethical Businessman of the 21st Century
    Jonathan Fowler and Elizabeth Rodd Big Think TV
  2. 2 Black Market Ethics
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  3. 3 Corporate Ethics: Not an Oxymoron
    Jason Gots Re-Envision
  4. 4 Robert Dolan Teaches Business Ethics
    Robert Dolan

Today's Big Idea: Blind Spots

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