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: How can the U.N. adapt to a new reality?

Kishore Mahbubani:For a start, I think if you, as you know, domestically, the way we preserve order in our societies is that we make every citizen a stakeholder in the society. You give every citizen a voice. You give every citizen a vote, and that is how you get stability at home. Why don't we create some kind of global democracy and give the 6.5 billion people who live in an increasingly small and intergrated world a voice, in the management of global affairs? And so what United States should is switch its attention form UN Security Council to the UN General Assembly and listen to the voices in the General Assembly, because if you can persuade the voices in a General Assembly to a certain course of action, then, believe me, you carry the world with you. Whereas you, if you just only persuade the UN Security Council, then you don’t persuade the world. You trying to impose the will of a few states on the rest of the world, and that cannot work in the long run. The most specific recommendation I have is for Americans to stop seeing multilateralism as a threat to America. Multilateralism was an American gift to the world, because, as you know, the 1945 UN charter, the principles, the rules, international law, all these were America's gift to the world, and the world appreciates the virtues of this gift of the multilateralism. Now, the time has come for America to rediscover the virtues of the gift that it shared with the rest of the world. And, believe me, if America embraces multilateralism, embraces a rules-based order globally, it will make Americans and Europeans feel much more secure. Believe me you live out to live in a rules-based order and so why should the United States of all countries and go for the multilateralism to unilateralism in the way it has done since the end of the Cold War? And that was the one of the biggest strategic mistakes that the west made at the end of the Cold War.

Recorded on: 2/28/08



Kishore Mahbubani: How can ...

Newsletter: Share: