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 would you restructure international bodies to achieve these goals?


Andrew Kuper: I think that world bodies simply have states as part of them. You have a dynamic where one kind of agent with one kind of incentive structure is supposed to be checking and… but they’re supposed to be checking and balancing each other which as we know states like to avoid certain kinds of embarrassment, they like to do things in the green room, there are all sorts of things that can go on there.

So part of what I favor is the introduction of other kinds of entities whether these are significant groups representing nonprofits or significant groups representing business even, chambers of commerce.

I believe that having different kinds of stakeholders with different kinds of incentives at the table in these institutions can have a very profound impact, it brings different information to light, it creates incentives to take care of populations that may not, you may not have taken care of by just states or by just corporations or just NGOs for that matter. So I think that’s the first thing, now, the practical implication of that, if you look at some of the world’s courts, only states have standing, what’s called [IB] before some of those courts and if you gave other kinds of entities the ability to approach those courts, certain other things that we put on the agenda and actually those courts do have the capacity to take on many, many more cases so it is possible to introduce those different kinds of agents who can bring cases to the court and have the court deliver on that, it’s not going to overwhelm the courts.

Secondly, you could look at the UN, various kinds of bodies where I believe and this is quite a radical proposal that you should have; whether it’s the chamber of commerce that are international or non-profit bodies at the table articulating their view. And in fact, it already happens informally to a limited extent but it doesn’t have the kind of bite that it needs to have for us to have a different kind of global order that is more responsive to the needs of people.


Recorded on: May 1, 2009



Restructuring International...

Newsletter: Share: