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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.

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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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Kofi Annan on Human Solidarity

August 26, 2014, 5:00 PM

"We need to create a world that is equitable, that is stable and a world where we bear in mind the needs of others, and not only what we need immediately. We are all in the same boat."

-Kofi Annan, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations (1997-2006)

Annan was the seventh person to serve as leader of the United Nations:

1. Trygve Lie, Norway (1946-52)

2. Dag Hammarskjöld, Sweden (1953-61)

3. U Thant, Burma (1961-71)

4. Kurt Waldheim, Austria (1972-81)

5. Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, Peru (1982-91)

6. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Egypt (1992-96)

7. Kofi Annan, Ghana (1997-2006)

8. Ban Ki-moon, South Korea (2007-Present)

Secretaries-general are elected to 5-year terms. Although there is no set term limit, none in the position have ever achieved a third. Ban Ki-moon, up for re-election again in 2016, could become the first. If he chooses to retire, the progressive factions may prioritize electing a woman to be the 9th secretary-general.


Kofi Annan on Human Solidarity

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