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:  How would you make our students more globally competitive?

Bill Richardson: Well you start early. You start with pre-school for every child under four. I did this in my state, and I would do it as President. I would have a full-day kindergarten. I would try to make kids healthier by having no junk food in schools. I would also ensure that we create 250 science and math academies where students and teachers learn stronger proficiency in science and math. I’d hire 100,000 new science and math teachers. But what I would also do is pay our teachers better. They’re paid a miserable amount. They’re disrespected. I’d have a minimum wage of $40,000 per year. And I would get rid of No Child Left Behind because I believe that that “one size fits all” testing hurts students. It hurts English learning students. It hurts special needs students, gifted students. And then it punishes schools that are not doing well. If a school isn’t doing well, I try to help that school. And so I would have national standards that would work with state and local standards to create accountability and create some kind of gauge about how our students are doing. But I don’t believe that No Child Left Behind is . . . is redeemable. It’s . . . it should be eliminated.

And finally what I would do is for college students, I’ve set up a program where I would say that in exchange for two years of tuition, I would have students – to pay off that tuition from the government loans – one year of national service for the country. Work in a hospital; do action type of work; clean up a forest; join the military. I think we have to bring that back. American people are ready to sacrifice, and they need to be inspired. And linking education to college loans, and to work, and to helping the country would be a major goal of my administration.

Recorded on: 11/20/07



Bill Richardson: How would ...

Newsletter: Share: