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


Kenji Yoshino:  The one plea that I really have that we should do more of is to start trying to think about ways in which we can come together and think collectively rather than thinking in very simplistic, group-based identity politics terms. So what do I mean by that? I mean again that if we continue to think in terms of, say, racial groups . . . So if there is African Americans, and Latinos, and Asian Americans, and the various multiracial permutations . . . and Native-Americans and what have you, then it’s gonna be increasingly hard for us to make common cause. That’s just math, right? That’s just these groups are gonna proliferate. People are gonna ask for ever more fine-grained distinctions, as we see with the 63 groups on the census. I think religion is an even better example of this because we can think of an actually infinite number of religions with immigration and coming into this country. And this is the Diana Eck phenomenon I was describing earlier. So what do we do in a polity where it seems like if we affiliate ourselves along these traditional lines – like I have this race; I have this sexual orientation; I have this religion; you know I have this particular disability – we’re only gonna break apart more and more. What do we do? And I think the answer to that is to say stop thinking in terms of civil rights. Start thinking in terms of human rights. Start thinking about the things that we all need as human beings regardless of which of these groups we belong to and try to translate whatever argument you’re trying to make an equality rubric into a liberty-based argument. So don’t talk about, “Build me a wheelchair access ramp because your steps are not good for me.” Argue about how we all have a right to access the court. Don’t argue about, “Oh, gays should have the right to get married.” Argue about don’t you think everybody in this country, to live a good life, needs to be able to make a commitment to the one person they love. You know so that’s really the message that I would have, because it focuses on what binds us together as a people rather than what drives us apart. So what I would love is to see a coalition. I mean it’s not to say . . . Organizing around rights doesn’t mean that you can’t organize around groups because you could have groups that organize themselves around rights. So you could have a right to education movement in this country that cut across very many different kinds of traditional groups like individuals who are indigent; individuals who are racial minorities; individuals who are immigrants; or for other reasons who are not getting good educations. No one would be happier to see that than I would, because what that would mean is that we would understand that what we’re arguing for is something that we want by dint of the fact that we’re human beings rather than by dint of our membership in a particular subset of humanity.

Recorded on: 11/11/07











Kenji Yoshino: What is your...

Newsletter: Share: