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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.

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Question: Are you generally optimistic or pessimistic?

Tom Freston: I’m still an optimist. You know I look back over time and you say, “Oh, things have basically improved for the greater lot of mankind.” There’s always been a lot of problems. Right now they’re acute and we’re more interconnected. And problems can infect other parts of the world much more easily. But to date, the lot of mankind I believe has generally gotten better. There’s been big setbacks. Look at World War II. Look at Chairman Mao’s great leap forward. You know the dark ages. But in general, like the Stock Market might have a bull market and a bear market, I think in the end problems can be dealt with, and mankind will continue to improve on a whole.

Recorded On: 7/6/07


Tom Freston: What is your o...

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