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.

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Today’s Big Idea: Neuroplasticity

The Big Idea for Monday, July 22, 2013

Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s extraordinary ability to adapt to new challenges. Researchers in neuropsychology have long observed that when one area of the brain is structurally compromised, other areas will compensate, sometimes even growing physically larger in the process.

And neuroplasticity isn’t only a compensatory mechanism. Increasingly, researchers are finding that specific activities and routines can cause the brain to develop or atrophy significantly at any age. The implications are enormous; what we choose to do and learn throughout our lives profoundly shapes who we are and what we’re capable of thinking.

This opens the door to a comprehensive reevaluation of what education means. The fast-changing job market has already made lifelong learning a professional necessity. Now we can embrace it not as a career move or a self-help gimmick, but as an essential part of what it means to be human.



  1. 1 Essential Life Skill #1: Focus and Self-Control
    Jason Gots Big Think Mentor
  2. 2 Why Build Self-Control?
    Sandra Aamodt How to Build Your Child's Self-Control
  3. 3 Ego Depletion, Motivation and Attention: A New Model of Self-Control
    Sam McNerney Moments of Genius
  4. 4 How to Improve Self-Control: Freedom from Your Hot Triggers
    Maria Konnikova Artful Choice

Today’s Big Idea: Neuroplas...

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