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


I actually would identify equal opportunity as one of the biggest challenges we face. This is a country – the United States – where the gap between the rich and the poor is large and it’s getting larger. And because access to education can be seen as something that can be affected by socio economic status, I think universities that care about equal opportunity have to make a special effort to ensure that we are attracting students, whether they have the capacity to pay or they do not have the capacity to pay. I think that’s a very large issue not just for Princeton; but I think it’s a large issue for the country. I think the great force in higher education in the United States has been . . . has really been several things actually, now that I think about it. The first, I think, was the commitment really from the very beginning of this country to free public education. That, I think, was a revolutionary idea in some respects. And I think it is one that has served the country very well until relatively recent times. I think if I have one concern about how that is now playing out today in 2007, I worry about the enormous difference in the quality of the very best and the very worst of our public schools in this country.

I worry about the degree to which our striving for free public education has really been diminished in this country. I think the same thing could be true about the great state universities. They were created so that every individual capable of doing work at the university level would have an opportunity to go to college. As those state colleges and universities are being financially squeezed by their state legislatures, they have only one choice, and that is to raise tuition. And as they raise tuition, those state colleges and universities become less and less accessible to those who are in the bottom of the income bracket.

Recorded on: 8/7/07


Equal Opportunity in Education

Newsletter: Share: