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.

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Transcript

Question: What is Big Think?

Victoria Brown: Big Think, I would say in kind of a nutshell, is a place for ideas on the Internet. But it’s not just freestanding ideas. It’s ideas about important issues that people care about, and that they can talk about with experts in the field on specific subject areas.

In essence, we populate the site with thoughtful content by amazing people from every pursuit from business, to philosophy, to music, to arts. We hope to run the gamut, as time goes on. And then we let users participate at the same level. So if they have an idea about an important issue to them, they can either create an idea or ask a question. And so in essence, what we hope to do is catalyze a global conversation about what’s going on, what matters, and where we’re going.

 

Question: What is Big Think’s biggest strength?

Victoria Brown: I think that the strength right now has nothing to do with us. It has to do with the people who are on it at the moment and what they have to say, and that’s really interesting.

For many of these interviews, I was the interviewer, and I still could watch them and learn something. And for the ones that I didn’t interview, I’m just super-fascinated by what I can learn from the incredible roster of people on the site.

And we’re really only starting. We have, maybe 160 interviews completed, and we’re doing around five a week. So it’s kind of a never-ending cornucopia of insights.

I think the greatest weakness, but one that we will soon overcome, is the fact that there’s practically no user participation yet.

I think right now, I look and I think gosh, I don’t see what the sort of overarching purpose of the site has been is to catalyze this conversation, and that isn’t going on yet. So that’s the weakest portion, but one that I hope and believe will change soon.

 

Question: Who is your target audience?

Victoria Brown: The target audience, I couldn’t say, is a specific demographic. I think it’s more psychographic. And that’s people, anybody – child, adult, old person – who is interested in their world.

 

Recorded on: January 2, 2008

 

 

What is Big Think?

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