What is Big Think?  

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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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Today's Core Skill: Adapting to Change

The Big Idea for Thursday, April 12, 2012

In nature, species evolve with the environment, adapting to change rather than anticipating it. So why are humans so intent on trying to predict the future? Life moves fast enough that it's usually not foresight that counts, but rather, how well you respond to being in a state of constant flux. 

"The only institution in life where you get time off for good behavior is prison. In most jobs or most careers, the better you are at it; the more you’re sucked into it," says Nathan Myhrvold. Myhrvold has been an inventor, the CTO of Microsoft, an amateur paleontologist, a prize-winning photographer, and a respected chef. His life is a case study in all the ways the passionate pursuit of knowledge can lead to success. Reflecting on his long and varied career, the contemporary renaissance man argues that self-determination is more important and ultimately more satisfying than momentary security. 

But sometimes, we need to relax. Margaret Moore, a coach at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital, gives practical advice for coping with the information overload that is an inevitable by-product of our modern, connected world. She teaches you how to survive the barrage and enjoy yourself (no deep breathing required). 


  1. 1 Nathan Myhrvold on Stephen Hawking, Dinosaur Sex & Leaving Microsoft to Sear Food with a Blowtorch
    Big Think Editors Think Tank
  2. 2 Life's Messy. Train Your Brain to Adapt.
    Megan Erickson Think Tank
  3. 3 Adapt to What? Laurence Smith’s World in 2050
    Parag and Ayesha Khanna Hybrid Reality
  4. 4 The Digital Revolution
    Stephen Walt

Today's Core Skill: Adaptin...

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