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


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

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


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
With rendition switcher


Question: What is the world’s biggest challenge in the coming decade?

Peter Thiel: There are all sorts of macro trends that are significant, but are people sort of aware of them? The question is always which ones are there that are very significant that people are perhaps not fully aware of.  I continue to believe that one of the bigger ones is that we have a serious, ongoing energy problem that, for a whole slew of reasons, people are not aware of.  People on the left think it’s good if the world runs out of oil because it causes all this pollution. People on the right think that it’s a problem you don’t need to worry about because if we run out of oil people will invent something else. I think it’s a little bit more complicated than that. It’s the sort of thing that if you don’t plan and do something in advance, you could set yourself up for a crisis that would be quite as big or bigger than what we saw in the 1970s. I see everything very much in place for that.  The objective facts are demands are going up two percent a year; supply is not going up; prices relentlessly drifting higher; and then nobody is changing their behavior. People aren’t investing more in alternatives. They’re not investing more in drilling, in conservation, in anything. And we still have a no-energy policy. And the left blocks nuclear power, the right blocks conservation, and so we end up with nothing at all in the U.S. It's very, very often in that direction.


Recorded on: Sep 05, 2007


What is the world's biggest...

Newsletter: Share: