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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: Smart Energy

The Big Idea for Friday, November 02, 2012

Among the many 21st century problems we need to harness our collective intelligence to solve, the energy crisis may be the most serious. Our dependence on fossil fuels is taking an enormous toll on human health and the health of the planet. While many of our pernicious global problems may take centuries to unleash their full effects, global warming has the very real potential to end our ability even to talk about our problems once and for all. 

The solutions are not so far out of reach as they may seem, but with big business interests and governmental policy increasingly intertwined, change will require strategic partnerships and reasoning that makes explicit the undeniable disadvantages – to everyone – of remaining on our present course. 


  1. 1 Mark Ruffalo's Energy Avengers
    Jason Gots Collective Intelligence
  2. 2 Beyond Celebrity Adoptions
    Jason Gots Think Tank
  3. 3 Frack, Baby, Frack? What You Need to Know About Hydraulic Fracturing
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  4. 4 T. Boone Pickens: Wake Up, America! We're Fools Without an Energy Plan.
    Jason Gots Think Tank

Today's Big Idea: Smart Energy

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