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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: NewSpace

The Big Idea for Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Arthur C. Clarke may have been on to something when he said the moon is just a stepping stone to the stars. 

Today we are commemorating the first 50 years of manned spaceflight -- which was signalled by John F. Kennedy's visionary speech at Rice University on September 12, 1962 -- by taking a look at the next 100 years of spaceflight. 

A good place to start is to look at the DARPA-funded non-governmental organization called 100-Year Starship which is organizing a public symposium in Houston starting tomorrow. The goal is to target interstellar travel within 100 years. It is difficult to even comprehend this goal, let alone conceive of a plan to accomplish it. We are not even close. And yet, this 100-year project is looking to usher in radical breakthroughs in numerous fields that might make the seemingly impossible possible, and this effort also promises to have the side effect of dramatically improving our lives here on Earth. 


  1. 1 Dreams of NewSpace: Interstellar Flight in 100 Years
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  2. 2 The Legacy of Apollo 13 and the Case for a Space Culture Today
    Mark Cheney Think Tank
  3. 3 What Will It Take to Colonize Outer Space?
    Esther Dyson
  4. 4 Neil deGrasse Tyson: Bringing Commercial Space Fantasies Back to Earth
    Neil deGrasse Tyson

Today's Big Idea: NewSpace

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