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

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

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
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

Question: Should we just leave Africa alone?

Michael Porter: I’m struck by the difference between the European Union and the U.S.’s efforts at economic development.

The European Union, by having a systematic process, was able to assimilate dozens of countries that were communist societies, and in the course of a relatively small number of years, really work with them to create a market system and a good society in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, you name it.

And yet the U.S., this wonderful economic power, has not really been able to do anything remotely as effective with Latin America, or Africa, or some of the continents that we’ve had an interest in.

We’ve brought some of this on ourselves.  I can’t quite understand why the U.S. has had such a limited and narrow view of its role in assisting other nations and enhancing their societies, but I think we’re paying the price for that. The U.S. has actually been the extraordinary driver of many of these changes in the global economic system, certainly.

Recorded on: June 11, 2007

 

Should the West just leave ...

Newsletter: Share: