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: Is there still a dream of African unity?


Richard Dowden: Well, it’s still a dream. The dream is of a united states of Africa. And I think it’s a good dream because that, again, is about building a sense of African identity.

But at the moment, it’s at the regional stage. And so, you think yes, if all the different regional groupings based on the economic trading partnerships.

When you look at them closely, you have the dreams there but, of course, it means we lose our taxes on this and we don’t; they could, then, destroy our industry on that. It gets very, very, very messy.

And they’re not moving ahead as fast as they should. Beause once you had an East African community or West African community that was real, I think investors would come in because the markets will be that much bigger. But knowing the difficulties you have crossing borders in Africa at the moment, I don’t think that investors will come in a sort of numbers they should, given the wealth of the place and the number of people there.


Recorded: March 16, 2009



Richard Dowden Considers Af...

Newsletter: Share: