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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: Rethinking the Workplace

The Big Idea for Tuesday, June 05, 2012

40% of large public companies worldwide have no women on their board of directors -- while the top 10 ranked S&P 500 companies have boards comprised of at least 1/5 women. As Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, has said, "We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women's voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored." We've been hearing calls for more women in leadership roles for years -- so why aren't we yet at a critical mass?

Initiating a worldwide shift will require more than a few promotions. It will require a rethinking of the workplace, and both men and women will need to take up the cause as their own. If women are to rise in the ranks, men who hold senior and executive positions (still a vast majority) will have to reach out to them fearlessly and unambiguously. The Women Corporate Directors group (WCD), comprised of over 225 of the most powerful corporate business women in the world, advocates that at least one woman be considered in every board member search. That's a start. Men can also serve as mentors to ambitious young women. Futurist Edie Weiner and Nina DiSesa, Chairman of McCann Erickson New York, have both looked to the men in their offices for guidance and advice. 

For the next few weeks Big Think, in partnership with the Women Corporate Directors, will be bringing you video interviews with some of the trailblazing women who will speak from experience about this critical issue.



  1. 1 Putting the "Men" Back in "Mentor"
    Big Think Editors Think Tank
  2. 2 Men at Work
    Nomi Prins
  3. 3 Nina DeSesa: Men Taught Me How to Lead
    Nina DiSesa
  4. 4 Were the “Mad Men” Such Bad Men?
    Reihan Salam

Today's Big Idea: Rethinkin...

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