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: Rethinking Social Networks

The Big Idea for Friday, August 24, 2012

The arrival of any bold, new technology is greeted with a mixture of excitement and skepticism. Psychologists and ethicists express grounded fears about the ways the new product will guide us unconsciously into habitual behaviors with negative health consequences. Early adopters focus instead on the benefits, which usually involve faster, more efficient ways of getting things done. 

Both are right, of course, because technology is morally neutral (although it might be argued that some technology – weaponry, for example – contains a moral tendency in utero). Researchers are finding, for example, that the wealth of data people are sharing via social networks is a goldmine for public health researchers. At the same time, that data is being used by advertisers to target consumers more effectively, which is morally ambivalent at best, invasive and predatory at worst. 

One thing is for certain – we've only begun to understand the possible forms and uses of social networking, which holds tremendous potential for economic and cultural change. 



  1. 1 How Social Networks Can Make Us Healthier And Happier
    Seth Fiegerman Think Tank
  2. 2 Going Public: The Connective, Collective Power of The Social Web
    Jason Gots Humanizing Technology
  3. 3 Reid Hoffman’s Argument for Social Networking
    Reid Hoffman
  4. 4 Rethinking Social Networking
    Jason Gots Humanizing Technology

Today's Big Idea: Rethinkin...

Newsletter: Share: