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: Will we see a shift in the political geography of our country? 

Richard Florida: I think we’ve seen a shift in the political geography of our country and I think we’re... and I wrote about this in a book I wrote called “Flight Of The Creative Class,” and I said it was coming and it’s come. I think our geography is an economic and political geography. It’s a geography of class, it’s a geography of political partisanship, it’s a geography of anger now and it worries the heck out of me. 

When I look at, not only the dysfunction on Capitol Hill, when I look at the polling data from Pew and Gallup and others.. When I look at how Americans are not very happy with either party at all, and they do like the president, I like the president, President Obama, we’re lucky to have him. It’s not only the Republicans, it’s the Democrats. I think the Democrats are even in less favor than Republicans in certain quarters and where I find hope, though, this is really interesting, I do find hope in one place and it’s why I think cities are so darn important. People are really peeved about the Congress and Democrats and Republicans and partisanship, but when I go to a city, and I meet the mayor, and I meet the county executive, or I meet the council people. I’ll tell you, I can’t tell who’s a Republican or a Democrat. And people there, they like or they don’t like, but it’s not a partisan thing, they all want to build their city, they all want to make their city better, they want to make sure their kids have opportunity, there are jobs that they love, the community is vibrant, air is clean. You know, some are Republican, maybe Mike Bloomberg, some are Democrat, Gavin Newsom, I’m just thinking names, Rich Daley, Tom Mannino in Boston, John Hickenlooper in Denver, I don’t know what, he’s a friend, I don’t know what party he’s in. 

But I think what’s interesting is at this local level, that’s where we’re coming together and working hard to build our communities, and maybe that’s where we have to look for solutions, rather than looking to this kind of dysfunctional partisan, political geography at the national level, I think at the local level we’re seeing real solutions, real laboratories of innovation, laboratories of democracy. And I say in the book, I think we have to push a lot of our decision-making, not just now what we’re doing is pushing decision making down and giving them money, we’ve got to give cities and communities the ability to raise revenue, not transfer revenue, raise revenue, and take care of themselves. And I think the more we do that, the better off we’ll be. 
Recorded on April 27, 2010
Interviewed by Jessica Liebman

More from the Big Idea for Tuesday, October 12 2010


How Geography Is Changing P...

Newsletter: Share: