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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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Slaughter:    So, right now, there are countless Chinese students who have gotten money from the government or think they’ve gotten money from the government or from other foundations who send e-mails to places like Princeton and Harvard and NYU and colleges all over the US and say, I want to come study with you, and, generally, we are not prepared.  They are many, many, many, there are hundreds of millions of them and, you know, we are educating our own students.  We do need to increase exchange programs, but I actually think we need a much bolder approach, and that should be one that really uses the web.  The possibilities for video conferencing, for joint teaching, for holding conferences and seminars where we don’t actually have to go there or bring them here, but we are, in fact, engaging with Chinese across the country, not just in the big cities, is quite possible.  Corporations do it all the time.  We have not thought imaginatively about how we harness our educational institutions, but also our cultural institutions and our youth groups to actually reach out and make those connections, and maybe they start with the trip, but then they continue to, everything from chatrooms to video conferences to whatever the web can offer, which is a tremendous amount, and I think we need to engage them that way, and in social networking, in various ways.

 

Anne-Marie Slaughter on Eng...

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