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.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


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

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


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

Go to blogs

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.

Find out more
With rendition switcher


Question: Where is America today?

Tommy Thompson: The dynamism is right now! I mean we are living in the most expensive, exciting times of our life! I mean the mapping of the genome in 1998 set science completely apart from what it’s been for the last 200 years in America! There have been more medicines, more therapies, more results in the last five years since the mapping of the genome than ever before! There have been more new discoveries in the last five years than there has ever been in the last 50 years! Look at the computer! Look at IPod! And this is the exciting times. Can you imagine that 50 years ago, we were all still using land lines. I mean landline telephones are going the way of the dinosaur. We’ve don’t . . . we got Palm Pilots. We’ve got mobile phones, and they are changing dramatically. And we are dramatically changing the face of this world, you know, with science breakthroughs and with new types of technology. Up until the mapping of the genome, there were only 500 points in your body that scientists were looking at for cures, and for medicines, and for therapies. Since the mapping of the genome, that has gone from 500 points in your body to 14,000. And can you imagine what’s gonna take place in the next five to 10 years of coming up with remedies and solutions and so on? So I don’t agree with, you know, “The great times were in the past.” The great times are now! I don’t know anybody that wants to go back and give up their cell phones, their computers, their Palm Pilots, their IPods . . . you know, their GIS geographically finding on their cars. You know we can . . . we’re . . . we are discoverers in America . . . in the world. And so I think the time is right now. And this calling out for great leaders . . . this calling out for the Tom Jeffersons in us to come to the forefront and lead this country with new ideas and new opportunities and new visions. And I am just excited about what’s gonna take place tomorrow rather than what’s happened yesterday.

Recorded on: 7/6/07




America Today

Newsletter: Share: