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: If you had $100 billion to give away, how would you spend it?

Stephen Carter: Ted Turner gave this interview. He said, “What good could a second billion dollars do?” How many houses can you use? How many jets can you own?” So give the rest of it away. But if I were giving money away, I would probably give it mostly to the direct service providers as people who are actually . . . or that are actually providing research. Say if they’re doing cancer research or AIDS research. The actual researchers and the people actually providing on the ground services to people. Because there are plenty of think tanks. There are plenty of think tanks that can get a lot of money to turn in a lot of position papers. And some of them are useful position papers; but what tend to be underfunded by private donors today are people giving the services on the ground. Little things that aren’t sexy. Soup kitchens. You know food closets. Things like that. Those are desperately underfunded by private donors who give to the big __________ get something named after yourself and so on. I think to give the money to causes like that. And something else. I think I might give away money to establish writing programs. Writing programs especially in the inner city, but elsewhere as well – in rural areas; places where a lot of times all the kids certainly go to school, but they don’t get the individual encouragement to think about the possibly you may have the talent to be a writer. Let’s try that out and see. ___________ people tend to write a lot tend to think a lot. And we need more people who think a lot, and I’d like to encourage that.

Recorded on: 7/25/07





Re: If you had $100 billion...

Newsletter: Share: