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.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

John Legend:  First of all, we aren’t just throwing money at the problem. We’re throwing resources at the problem. It costs money, but we don’t just hand out cash to people. We’re going in there doing specific interventions.

One of them is to improve the farming methods and the agricultural techniques to increase the yield of the farmers.

Another is to prevent malaria by using bed nets, and to fight malaria with an $.80 cure that anybody in the western world could afford, but it doesn’t get to a lot of these folks in the developing world. So we see that millions of people are dying every year due to malaria, and we know that cripples those communities. And we know that if you do a lot of other interventions, it’s not going to work if everyone is still dying and people aren’t healthy enough to work. And so we figured that providing malaria prevention and cures for malaria was important.

Also providing ARVs [antiretroviral drugs] for AIDS sufferers to allow them to live a meaningful life and live a longer life that many people in the western world with HIV and AIDS are able to live. We figured that was important.

We also believe that getting them access to clean drinking water is important. And getting young people into schools and getting them a meal during school is important.

So we’re not throwing money at the problem. We’re spending money to bring solutions to the problems. We’re not just throwing cash at it. And I think that’s important.

I also believe that what Mr. [Muhammad] Yunus is doing is really important too, and I think it’s working as well. But I don’t think there’s any one cure all solution to poverty.

I think what there needs to be is a commitment, which I don’t think, for instance, our U.S. government has shown a commitment to it. And then once you have the commitment and you really believe it’s an important defining problem, and a problem that is one of the more critical issues of our time; once you believe that, then reasonable minds can try different techniques to solve the problem. But at least you have to admit that it’s a major problem and decide that you have to throw a lot of resources at it. It’s not going to just go away. And I believe that, Jeffrey Sachs believes that, and that’s why we’re working together.

Recorded on: Jan 29, 2008

More from the Big Idea for Friday, April 26 2013

Refamiliarization

In our data-driven age we tend to want to get to the big picture as quickly and effortlessly as possible, so much so, in fact, that we can easily lose sight of the people behind the numbers. In... Read More…

 

What is the right approach ...

Newsletter: Share: