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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: Winning the Earth Race

The Big Idea for Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The challenge of developing cheap and clean energy alternatives is a race against time. 

In other words, how can we accelerate change to win the so-called 'Earth Race," as former White House Special Advisor Van Jones put it in a recent interview with Big Think. 

The race is against time not only because of the harm that is caused to the environment by fossil fuels. This is also a global competition, in which the rewards for innovation include increased GDP, national security, jobs, and holding the upper hand when it comes to innovation, an advantage the United States gained during the Space Race. 

And yet, this race is a marathon, not a sprint. According to Van Jones, it will require a patient mindset to get the U.S. to a place where the country can run on cleaner and more renewable forms of energy.


  1. 1 America Needs to Lead the Earth Race Again
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  2. 2 The Scale of the Energy Challenge Is Shocking
    Nate Lewis
  3. 3 T. Boone Pickens: Wake Up, America! We're Fools Without an Energy Plan.
    Jason Gots Think Tank
  4. 4 Innovate, Or Get Out of the Way!
    Daniel Honan Think Tank

Today's Big Idea: Winning t...

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