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: As a non-educator, why are you suited to run the New York City Public School system?

Joel Klein: What I think is that, fundamentally, the system is a service delivery system and it’s broken.

It’s incentives are misaligned, it’s managed poorly, it basically tolerates mediocrity, rewards failure. And I think if you’re a change agent then some of the very same principles apply in the Justice Department. If you’re fundamentally a transformative leader, which I’ve considered myself to be, I thought this was as important an opportunity and, quite frankly, an opportunity I trained for, for much of my adult life.

I believe so deeply that education is the great leveler, and if you get that wrong in almost a Rawlsian sense, you get the preconditions to what it means to grow up in America, you get those wrong.

And so I had a sense that this was going to take a systems transformation. It’s always hard to speak for the mayor [Michael Bloomberg] on what motivated him. But I suppose a combination of his sense that somebody who is outside the system was beholden to the structures that existed, the players that existed, somebody who had a fair amount of managerial experience, which I had had in the Justice Department and at Bertelsmann, and somebody I hope this mattered to.

And I had my passion for making sure that education was equitable and that whether you were rich or poor, black or white, you got a fair shot at the American dream; something that’s not happening in our country. And I hope those are the things that resonated with the mayor.

Recorded on: March 30, 2008

 

 

Why are you suited to run t...

Newsletter: Share: