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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Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

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Workplace Flexibility

The Big Idea for Thursday, February 28, 2013

While 21st century America has been marred by stagnant growth in personal income, technology has nonetheless enabled greater benefits for workers. For instance, working parents have the option of staying at home. This has been particularly liberating for working mothers. 

That is why Yahoo's recent decision to order telecommuters back to the office was greeted with such a loud chorus of boos. How could a technology company embrace such a backward-looking policy, critics asked. The answer has a lot to do with circumstances specific to Yahoo, the struggling "grandfather of Silicon Valley." And yet, the revelation of Yahoo's policy has sparked a greater conversation about the 21st century workplace.

Are workers more or less productive when they work from home? Is meeting face-to-face an essential ingredient in establishing an innovative company culture? We address these questions and others in today's lesson. 


  1. 1 Marissa Mayer's Guide to Being Productive: It's About Data, Not Politics
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  2. 2 Big Think Editors
    Megan Erickson Think Tank
  3. 3 Whose Responsibility is Work-Life Balance?
    Nancy Calderon
  4. 4 The Myth of the Work-Life Balance
    John Beeson The Unwritten Rules

Workplace Flexibility

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