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: Psychological Resilience

The Big Idea for Sunday, November 11, 2012

Today is Veteran's Day, and that is why we are featuring a video that describes how certain prisoners of war were able to survive great adversity. It is a testament to their patriotism and certainly their courage.

We can also all learn something from them. According to Dr. Dennis Charney, the prisoners of war were able to cope with torturous conditions for years on end because they had the appropriate coping mechanisms -- the ability to both recognize that they were in danger but also maintain an optimistic attitude about their situation.

No one can do this alone. So for those in solitary confinement, Charney tells us it involved coming up with a "tap code" to communicate through the cell walls with other POWs. Charney says we all need a "tap code," a way of communicating with a network of friends and family that we can share our feelings with. 



  1. 1 The Stockdale Paradox: How Optimism Creates Resilience
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  2. 2 Mindfulness: How to Call Off the Emotional Attack Dogs
    Paul Ekman
  3. 3 The Value of Modest Breakthroughs
    Aubrey de Grey
  4. 4 Dennis Charney: The Resilient Brain
    Dennis Charney

Today's Big Idea: Psycholog...

Newsletter: Share: