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


Simon Doonan: American presidents are not supposed to be fashion pioneers.  People often cite JFK, but the reality was he was a handsome, athletic guy who looked good in a suit.  He wasn’t a fashion pioneer, for Christ's sake.


Mitt Romney has—he’s loosened up his appearance a little bit because he’s so handsome that he runs the risk of looking like some anchorman if he’s too well-groomed.  And so he’s roughed himself up a bit.  There’s a lot of shirt without a tie, there’s a lot of slightly wind-blown hair . . . because he doesn’t want to look like a lounge lizard.  He can’t appear to be self-involved.  When John Edwards was revealed as having these extravagantly expensive haircuts it said everything about him . . . because I always thought there was something cheesy about him.  And then immediately when we found out he was vain, he was off my list, everybody’s list.  Politicians are not supposed to be vain, and Mitt Romney has to be careful with that because the others aren’t so good looking so they always look a bit, you know, whatever.   

If you’re a politician you can command respect and maintain a certain casual attire, but you have to be very kind of Eddie Bauer about it.  You can’t be rocking no groovy outfit . . . it can’t be any style component; it has to be function.  So you’re wearing a windbreaker because it’s windy.  You know, you’re taking your tie off because you’re out in the corn fields of Ohio and you’re shaking hands and da, da, da, da, da. . . . There has to be—it’s about function.  America’s great at functional clothing, you know.  We do it better than anybody, all that work wear. . . . So a windbreaker because it’s windy.

The only politician in British history who was allowed flamboyance was Benjamin Disraeli.  He was great.  He used to wear, like, yellow velvet knickers and jewelry, and his hair was all, like, marcelled.  He was a friend of Queen Victoria’s.  He was actually the only Jewish Prime Minister of England, and he was Prime Minister twice.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it. 

Directed / Produced by

Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd



Simon Doonan – Is Mitt Romn...

Newsletter: Share: