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: Investing in global health.

 

Josh Ruxin: Investments in global health aren’t just good for poor countries. Investments in global health are something that’s actually good for the world. When people scratch their heads and wonder, “We’re not spending perhaps enough money on health care here in America, what are we doing spending money on helping health care improve in a poor country like Rwanda?” The answer is that it’s an interconnected world, as we saw with swine flu and with SARS.

 

By improving surveillance and treatment, by improving what happens to emerging diseases and existing diseases in poor countries, we’re actually improving the overall health of the world. Moreover, we’re also improving productivity to levels where countries can finally climb out of poverty and not become countries that are dependent on our aid, but rather become countries that are improving their tax base, starting to pay for more of their public services, and ultimately become bigger consumers of American products.

 

An investment in health is a key step to ensuring that the world does not have the same problems that it’s had for hundreds of years, and finally getting over that incredible hump, and providing us with a world in which kids don’t die when they’re less than less than five years old of preventable and treatable diseases, when mothers don’t die in childbirth.

 

These are health issues which don’t just impact the communities in which they are occurring, it impacts the whole world. It makes everybody more susceptible to diseases, which we really don’t want to see at the levels of pandemic that we’ve seen just in the recent past.

 

Take a look at something like HIV/AIDS. It looks like it originated in Central Africa, perhaps as much as a hundred years ago, perhaps even longer ago, but we didn’t know about it until the early 1980s because that’s when it came up on our radar screen. If we’d been investing in health care systems more effectively in Central Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, we probably could have picked up on that emerging epidemic much earlier, and we could have done more to stave off that epidemic from reaching our shores.

 

Recorded on: June 3, 2009.

 

 

How Investing in Global Hea...

Newsletter: Share: