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.

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Question: Beyond a simple title, how would you describe what you do for a living?

Bill George: Well I’m a business person that’s now gone into academia.  I was in business for 32 years with three major companies, the last of which was Medtronic where I was the Chairman and CEO, and there for a total of 13 years.  And I intentionally capped my time as CEO to 10 years, because I wanted to do some other things in life.  And I got to . . .  I took a working sabbatical, went to Switzerland, taught at two institutions there – a business school IMD and a federal polytechnic – and I got fascinated with teaching and writing, and then came back to my alma mater at Harvard after a short stop at Yale.  And since that time, I’ve developed a deep passion in the last five years in trying to have an impact on the future generation of business and non-profit leaders.  And the two books I’ve written have been on that subject, most recently the “True North” is aimed at trying to show people of all ages how they can develop into authentic leaders.  And that’s what my real passion is these days.

Recorded on: Jul 7 2007


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