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


Adam Grant: When I think about a giver I think about somebody who actually enjoys helping others and often prefers to be on the contributing side of a relationship as opposed to the receiving side and will typically, you know, make introductions, share knowledge, perhaps provide mentoring with no strings attached.

How does a giver sort of succeed but also lift other people up? One of my favorite strategies is one of the stars Give and Take calls a 5-minute Favor, which is the idea that not every act of giving has to be extraordinarily time consuming or costly, but rather, there are ways that you can take small bites of time, almost like a micro loan, and actually share your expertise or your connections with other people. And so one of the recommendations for people who want to achieve success while also helping others is to figure out, what are the ways that you can help others at a small cost to you?

Social networking like Adam Rifkin who’s one of America’s top networkers…. One of the things that Adam does is he really practices this idea of a 5-minute Favor. So every day he’s looking for ways that he can just spend a few minutes of his time to make an introduction between two people who would benefit from knowing each other, to hear an entrepreneur give a five minute pitch and then say, here are the three things that I would do differently if I were you and here’s what I liked about your pitch. And I think that looking for these opportunities can be really powerful, but Adam doesn’t stop there. He then says, “Okay, after I help someone I’m going to go and ask them for help.” But he’s not asking for himself most of the time. He’s asking them to help other people in his network. I think that Adam is on a mission, actually, to create a pay it forward norm where then he builds a whole network of people who are willing to help each other out, regardless of whether they’ve received from each other in the past.

Directed / Produced by Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd

More from the Big Idea for Thursday, May 23 2013

The Rules of Power

In today's lesson, Harvard Business School’s Robert Steven Kaplan explains what separates the good from the great, or the intangible qualities that leaders are always on the lookout for. In short,... Read More…


Share Your Time Like a Micr...

Newsletter: Share: