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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 Thursday, June 21, 2012

Whatever the future holds, we hope it is a world in which women are more fairly represented in the workplace -- particularly in the business and technology sectors. Here's Pamela Haag on the dearth of women among "high-flying, high tech entrepreneurs and professionals" in Silicon Valley, where women earn only 49 cents to a man’s dollar, and diplomat Neelam Deo on the challenges and the incredible possibility that IT opens up for women and girls globally. Julia Allison believes that the only way for a woman to gain respect as a tech entrepreneur is by "making a ton of money." Her goal is to sell her own internet company in five years. 

We've come a long way from when newspapers ran sex-segregated job listings (“Help Wanted—Male” and “Help Wanted—Female") with different pay for the same work, depending on gender. But if we want to continue to move forward as a society to the point where women are being meaningfully integrated at the top levels of organizations, those who are currently there will have to make a commitment, says Monique Leroux, CEO of Canada's largest financial cooperative, Desjardins. Leroux explains her strategy for ensuring that women have a place at the table. 


  1. 1 How to Get More Women At the Table
    Megan Erickson Think Tank
  2. 2 Indian Women in Business
    Neelam Deo
  3. 3 Valley of the Dolls: Women's Wage Woes in the Tech "Shangri-la" of Silicon Valley
    Pamela Haag Harpy's Review
  4. 4 Julia Allison on Harnessing Technology to Get Rich
    Julia Allison

Today's Big Idea: Rethinkin...

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