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 your creative process?

Fredrik Carlstrom: Usually, I panic. And now I’ve been doing this so long I take sort of great comfort in the panic, ’cause I know that it’ll be fine. I think a lot of people feel that way. Or at least I do. And I feel kind of, “Shit, they’re gonna figure it out. I’m a big bluff. This is it.” And then you kind of snoop around, and you look around, and you think about it. And usually, you have an opinion. And it could be the wrong one, but you usually have an opinion about things, or you have some gut feeling about things. And I think really good advertising is that. It’s basically taking, you know, small phenomenons, or little things that you feel about something. Or you know, you had a fight with your girlfriend, and you think, you know, “Well, why did I do that? That was dumb.” And then you kind of blow that up into an ad or something else, and other people recognize themselves in it. David Abbot [ph?] is one of the best copywriters in the world. I met him once and he was saying-- he was talking about an old British telecom ad that he’d done. And he was basically, he recognized that he would call his mom when he knew he only had five minutes to talk. He was on the way somewhere, a meeting. And he thought to himself, “It probably hurts her that she knows I only call her when, ‘I have five minutes, Mom.’” And so he wrote an ad about it. And it was very successful. People were really kind of, “Yeah, I do that, too.” And it was basically like, “Take an hour and call your mom.” And it was so simple, and it’s so kind of basic. So my creative process is panic, and then kind of you go to your own feelings and you talk to people, and you look around, and then you kind of come up with something.


Recorded on: 6/12/08


What is Your Creative Process?

Newsletter: Share: