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

1

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

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

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
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

Topic: Foreign Policy Lessons

Derek Chollet: The Cold War had been about containment, containment of the Soviet Union. George Kennan, who was a diplomat and scholar who came up with the phrase “containment” was many ways identified, he was a god among the foreign policy elites. This was the person who had come up with the word and the concept that had basically defined American foreign policy for over four decades and when the Soviet Union collapsed there was a tremendous desire among those in government and out of the government to be the next George Kennan, to come up with that phrase, that bumper sticker that would define not just the world as it was changing, but America’s role in it. Now what’s interesting is Kennan himself during the Cold War was unhappy with the way containment had been used and in his view, abused, and used as a rationale for doing all sorts of things that he didn’t think was in America’s interest. But nevertheless, at the end of the Cold War everyone, from Francis Fukuyama to Samuel Huntington with “The Clash of Civilizations” to George H.W. Bush with the New World Order to Bill Clinton with various versions of bumper stickers, tried to come up with that encapsulating phrase and win what sort of people derided at the time as the Kennan Sweepstakes.

 

 

Recorded on: 070/8/2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foreign Policy Lessons

Newsletter: Share: