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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: Empathy

The Big Idea for Thursday, August 30, 2012

Most Americans should be able to relate to the dilemma facing Mitt Romney as he prepares to give the biggest speech of his life. Thanks to social media, we are all expected to put ourselves out there. It is part of our jobs.

To stick with the social media analogy, we know Romney's LinkedIn profile well, and it is compelling. He is a "resume candidate." What is somehow less compelling, or murky, is his Facebook timeline. As a candidate, he does not talk much about his personal life, such as his religion. 

Democrats have stepped in and attempted to define Romney as a "one percenter" who is out of touch with regular Americans. To combat this, Romney needs to present himself tonight in a "humanizing" way that creates empathy. 

Like Mitt Romney, most likely your job requires you to sell yourself as well, or at least to sell the value of your company in some way. The ability to create empathy is crucial to your success. 


  1. 1 The Real Mitt Romney, According to his Bain Colleague, Ed Conard
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  2. 2 Mitt Romney: The Big Think Interview
    Mitt Romney
  3. 3 The Founding Fathers On Mitt Romney
    Keerthi Chandrashekar Think Tank
  4. 4 Why Many Mormons Are Uncomfortable with Mitt Romney
    Matthew Bowman

Today's Big Idea: Empathy

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