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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Question: When you read the newspaper or watch the news, what issues stand out for you?

Dan Gilbert: Well there are so many big issues of today. That’s part of living in today. Almost all of the issues seem really, really big. What’s hard to know is which of these issues will seem big when people look back on them 100 years from now. We’re fighting about so many things right now – that is human beings are fighting about so many things that will seem so unimportant to people a century from now; but some of them, I think, will be very, very important. And surely the big issue – the one that people throughout time will agree is a big issue – is the environmental issue. I feel confident that human beings will ultimately work out their sociopolitical differences if given hundreds or thousands of years to either rough each other up or negotiate. Be we won’t have 100s of 1,000s of years to get to that point if we’re on a planet that’s disintegrating. So it seems abundantly clear that the differences between blacks and whites, and Jews and Gentiles, a and men and women, and gays and straights will seem like charming bits of history to people 1,000 years from now. But global warming will not.

Recorded on: 6/12/07


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