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: What's the biggest career mistake you've ever made?

Leroy Chiao: The biggest career mistake I ever made. Wow, you've got me on that. Let's see, well you know, probably some mistakes I made that I was glad happened in the context that it did was, when I was studying engineering, I did an engineering co-op job, which basically means that you go out while you're still a student and you spend several months working with a company and things like that. And I did that with IBM and I ended up going up to Burlington, Vermont and had a great experience doing it, but I learned my mistakes there and fortunately for me, I made my mistakes there in my co-op jobs instead of while I was out as a profession and working in the workforce. And to me, my mistakes made were learning how to work with different groups of people. I mean, I went to school at Berkeley, which is a pretty diverse group, but working in a professional setting, I hadn't really done that before and learning about office politics, learning about interactions between different people and I made a lot of mistakes there during my time as a young person. I was 19 or 20 at the time. So, I would say those were my biggest career mistakes, but fortunately they were made in the context of an engineering co-op program and not in a professional field.

 

Recorded on December 16, 2009

 

The Pitfalls of Office Poli...

Newsletter: Share: