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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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Julia Bolz: I actually am very inspired by many of the people that I work with overseas.  Let me just tell you in addition to this nine year old little girl who has been etched in my heart, there is a principal that I met when I first went over.  Her name is Cobra.  She’s about 55 years old.  She was the second wife to a ________ warrior who was killed during the time of the Soviets.  But Cobra was an educator.  And during the time of the Taliban, she held an underground school.  And you can just imagine her everyday life trucking off or going off to teach these girls; putting the books underneath her burqa.  She could have been shot.  And I think if anyone had found out about her, she could have been turned in.  But despite all of that she continued.  And it’s women like Cobra, to me, that have made such an impact on these countries.  She literally went to every house in her community knocking on the doors to get girls in school; and talking to fathers and brothers to get women teachers and the girls into school.  And it’s women like that who, to me, are just amazing.  Even today, she . . .  Many of these principals have been threatened and persecuted.  And despite all odds, they’re out there every day.  They earn about $50 a month when they get paid, so it’s certainly not because of money.  But they are my heroes, and Cobra is at the top of my list.

 

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