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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Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

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World Renowned Bloggers


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

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Big Think Edge


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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Zen Leadership

The Big Idea for Tuesday, May 06, 2014

The essence of leadership is service--serving the needs of your customers and your organization. This is the kind of wisdom that produces innovative thought and action. It ensures rising above the  status quo which is always vulnerable to the next great industry disruption.

True leaders serve. But how do they do this during times of instability, and when faced with relentless competition? The temptation to take easy shortcuts and make fear-based decisions can be great.

The principles of leadership are timeless. And those who lead must revisit them again and again, reflect on the ancient philosophies that great leaders throughout the centuries relied on. That is the subject of cognitive scientist Edward Slingerland's new book Trying Not to Try: The Art and Science of Spontaneity. Attaining the wisdom of leadership puts one into a flow state, creating an aura of influence and irresistibility. Today's big idea explores zen leadership--mastering a higher state of service--to your customers, your organization, and the world.


  1. 1 The Power of Spontaneity
    Big Think Editors Big Think Mentor
  2. 2 You're Better Than That
    Judith Orloff Think Tank
  3. 3 Anticipate. Then Innovate.
    Daniel Burrus Flash Foresights from Daniel Burrus
  4. 4 Share Your Wisdom
    Thomas A. Stewart SoundBite

Zen Leadership

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