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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.

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Today's Big Idea: The New Digital Superpowers

The Big Idea for Thursday, March 22, 2012

In a world where a large percentage of what happens to us happens online, there's an inevitable blending between what we understand to be publicly-owned and what is private. Sometimes it's hard to really know where our data ends and Googles' begins.

We use the web to research, to communicate and connect, to build relationships in our private lives, to conduct business at work. We use it to get the information we need, as soon as we need it. But productivity isn't everything. It's also essential that citizens of an increasingly fast-moving society know their digital rights.

Every time there’s a new communications technology it revolutionizes politics, says Nicholas Lemann of the Council on the Future of Media. And when a law or policy or agreement threatens our digital privacy, it's time to raise a fuss, argues Rebecca MacKinnon, a fellow at the New America Foundation. In a video interview, policy expert David Rothkopf discusses the implications of the rise of private, multinational institutions (many of them web-based) on our finances and our future.


  1. 1 Who Wants to Run the World?
    Megan Erickson Think Tank
  2. 2 Consent of the Networked: a Conversation with Rebecca MacKinnon
    Megan Erickson Think Tank
  3. 3 On Facebook, No Nipples Allowed. (But Crushed Limbs are OK.)
    Megan Erickson Think Tank
  4. 4 How is the Internet changing politics?
    Nicholas Lemann

Today's Big Idea: The New D...

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