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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: Beyond a simple title, how would you describe what you do?

Warren: I probably would say I’m a voice. I’m somebody who is using my own voice on behalf of people who don’t have much of a voice – those who don’t have a lot of power in this world, particularly people with HIV/AIDS and orphans. And of all the vulnerable people in the world, the most vulnerable are little girls. And little girls who are growing up without parents really are at the mercy of society. So I feel like I am a voice for those two groups in particular. I can walk into a hut, or a hospital ward, or a very, very poor home, and walk in and not necessarily bring gifts. There is an urge at the beginning, I suppose, when I first started doing what I’m doing, to bring something to somebody; to bring a gift; to bring money; to bring, you know, a basket full of toys or something. Now if I bring anything I might bring some food. But what I have found great joy is in just showing up –just walking into somebody else . . . someone else’s house who feels very alone; who feels forgotten; who feels neglected; who feels abandoned; and to sit down eye-to-eye. I’ll put my arms around them, hold the child in my arms, and just know for that moment – even that moment in time – my being with them, my presence, has reminded them that they’re not alone. And there is tremendous joy in that.

Recorded on: 12/11/07


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