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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: Who are your biggest influences?

Tom Otterness: God! It’s so, I get stumped with this question sometimes. It’s so broad based. I’d tried to make a kind of a… I try to keep a very broad eye. I’d tried to bring in influences from every source that I can get my hands on and sort of condensed them or boil them down to some kind of universal style. So, you know, everything from South American work to Chinese to Greek, you know, it’s traditional work… I get lost in that, you know. I’d like to think I’m influenced from everywhere. Oh, my dad was a poet who worked at Boeing in Wichita but I wrote poetry, and there was art around the house. My mom always encourage that, you know, we had our Van Gogh reproductions and Goya’s the little way with the bird on the [string], you know. I remember looking in the cats waiting to eat the bird. I remember that very well.


Tom Otterness on Inspiration

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