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

Question: Where are you from and how has that shaped you?

 

Dennis Ross: Originally I was born in San Francisco, grew up in _________ County. So I’m a Californian. Many people have said that that explains why __________.

I don’t know that growing up in California per se shaped who I am. But I think growing up when I grew up shaped who I am. I grew up __________ child of the 1960s. My first political activity was in the Civil Rights Movement. The very first campaign I worked in was a fair housing provision in the mid-1960s. Vietnam shaped me dramatically in terms of mindset. The Kennedys, their sense of public service, also had an impact. My first serious presidential campaign was working on the Robert Kennedy campaign. So all of these, I think, had as much to do with shaping my attitudes, my instincts, a sense of passion for public service. All of it came from that more than coming from California per se.

 

Question: Who inspired your choice of profession?

 

Dennis Ross: I don’t know that there was a particular person who inspired it, but there were, I think, some . . . Well I would say the following. I would say one, I read Richard Wright when I was in high school. And this really had a profound impact on my sense not just of __________, but a sense that justice required certain kinds of behavior. And it also meant you couldn’t sit on the sidelines. You couldn’t just be an observer of this. And I think it’s in that context that when the Kennedys spoke about new responsibilities – and certainly when Robert Kennedy’s campaign came along – I think he was very much a symbol for me. I was coming much more of age at that time, and it was a kind of call to action that I saw in him. And he was quite inspiring for me.

 

Recorded on: September 12, 2007

 

 

Who are you?

Newsletter: Share: