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


Richard Branson: Well, I was fortunate to be brought up by two very loving parents, and they were great believers in bestowing a lot of praise upon their children, a lot of encouragement.  And I think that gave me a lot of confidence.  

And they also – particularly my mother – very much wanted us to stand on our own two feet from a young age.  To the extreme case of pushing me out of the car at age six and asking me to make my way home, about three miles from home, and myself getting lost.  But anyway, that was the kind of thing she would do to try to get us to not to be too “coddled,” as she would put it.  

So I think the upbringing, a combination of love, and encouragement, and a desire to see us doing things rather than watching other people doing things, helped me in the future.

Recorded on: July 5, 2007

More from the Big Idea for Sunday, July 17 2011


Why Love Matters

Newsletter: Share: