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: Would you endorse a particular overseas model?

 

Tom Bloch: I don’t know if there is one system in particular. I think, if you look at Japan and even China and India, there are just some amazing things going on. And one of the things I think you find in countries like that is that teachers are so highly valued. I remember meeting a woman in Kansas City, who is a professor of education, and she has a scar on her calf, and she asked me one day, she said, “You know how I got that scar?”

I said, “No.”

She said, well, when she was a girl, a schoolgirl in Nigeria, she was outside and she encountered one of her teachers walking on the sidewalk, and she said, “In Nigeria, it’s customary that a student would bow to a teacher,” and she said, “there was thorn bush right behind me and I got my calf stuck on a thorn.” And I thought, “My gosh, sometimes I can walk down the halls of my school and never to get a student to even say ‘Good morning’ back when I greet them.” So there’s a real difference in the way we respect teachers in this country.

 

Question: Will the rest of the world outperform us in higher ed?

 

Tom Bloch: I just read something lately that would suggest that down the road, other developed countries are going to become fierce competitors in the post-secondary market. And so, instead of sending their best and brightest to the United States for college, maybe someday the best and brightest from the United States will be going abroad to other institutions in other countries. So I think, while it may appear we have a stranglehold on this university market, I think that could well change in the decades ahead.

 

Recorded on: October 13, 2008

 

 

Tom Bloch on International ...

Newsletter: Share: