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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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Graham Hill: Well it probably really depends on which one. And the challenging part of this area is that there is a lot of gray. So it’s hard to determine what’s what, because different things enter into the picture.

Is it better to get organic strawberries from California or non-organic local strawberries, right? So it becomes sort of a complicated issue. So a lot of it’s about doing a full life cycle analysis, which really looks at all the components that go into the manufacture, and the distribution, and the cycle. How is it cycled? Does it end up in a landfill? Or is it recycled back as a technical nutrient, or does it not biodegrade? So really it’s like looking at the life cycle and understanding the full impact of it in the first place.

And then, probably more importantly, do you need this thing in the first place? The best product is the one that you can avoid.


Recorded on: Oct 16, 2008





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