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

Today's Big Idea: Design Thinking

The Big Idea for Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Because of the nature of their work, successful graphic designers, industrial designers, and architects approach problems with a unique mix of creative thinking, empathy, and pragmatism. They must quickly yet deeply internalize the client’s context and invent an entirely original solution that is nonetheless in keeping with the established brand. 

For several decades now, business leaders in more traditional fields have been studying design thinking and adapting it to their needs. In particular, the design-thought-processes of divergent thinking (brainstorming a wide range of possible solutions) and convergent thinking (eliminating all but the “right” solution) have been enormously influential in the corporate world. 

Indeed, design thinking’s creative and adaptable approach which harnesses both free-ranging imagination and pragmatic reasoning is ideally suited to the 21st century marketplace – a world of lighting-fast technological change within more conservative legal, political, and logistical constraints.



  1. 1 It’s the Materials, Dummy. Building (a house, a business, or anything at all) to Last.
    Jason Gots Think Tank
  2. 2 Can Design Thinking Save the Economic Dinosaurs?
    Dominic Basulto Endless Innovation
  3. 3 OpenIDEO: Collaborative Design Thinking
    Maria Popova Design for Good
  4. 4 Is the Internet Ruining Design?
    Milton Glaser

Today's Big Idea: Design Th...

Newsletter: Share: