WATCH: Ideas Rule the World, not Kings or Corporations

What will historians say about our time 250 years from now? Lawrence Summers asks this question in a thought-provoking lecture about the evolution of ideas.

What will historians say about our time 250 years from now? In this final video of our Floating University playlist, Lawrence Summers, economist, professor, former president of Harvard University, and economic adviser to President Barack Obama, asks this question in a thought-provoking lecture about the evolution of ideas and the critical importance of education in an increasingly multifaceted world.

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WATCH: Learn to Invest and Start a Business in Under an Hour

We all want to be financially stable and enjoy a well-funded retirement, but we don't want to squander our hard-earned money on poor investments.

We all want to be financially stable and enjoy a well-funded retirement, but we don't want to squander our hard-earned money on poor investments. In this penultimate Floating University video, William Ackman, the CEO of Pershing Square Capital, navigates the complex landscape of how businesses work and how to make smart investments following a simple business model we can all relate to: a lemonade stand.

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WATCH: Strange Beauty — How Reading the Classics Will Change You

Yale Professor Jeffrey Brenzel argues that reading the great classics can not only enrich your education, but also actually make your life better.

In this Floating University video — number 10 of 12 in our ongoing series — Yale Professor Jeffrey Brenzel argues that reading the great classics can not only enrich your education, but also actually make your life better. We can't possibly read all of the books in the world, so Brenzel makes a case for reading the right books the right way.

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WATCH: The Great Unexpected Utility of the Arts

The most important thing about art is every person's capacity to make it, and that the body/mind discipline of cultivating your artistic abilities has collateral utility for every aspect of life.

Culture & Religion

Art is often dismissed as being purely subjective, but Bard College President Leon Botstein, who also conducts the American Symphony Orchestra, argues that there are some commonalities among the diverse products that different people call art.

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WATCH: Social Capital — If You Want to Succeed, Start Making Friends

Our successes and failures are similarly linked to others, though we may feel their effects only personally. Every choice you make, every behavior you exhibit, and even every desire you have finds its roots in the social universe.

 

Personal Growth

We're more than halfway through our rollout of Big Think's Floating University video playlist, featuring some of the most mind-changing ideas delivered by America's leading thinkers. In this discussion, Harvard medical doctor and sociologist Nicholas Christakis looks at our world through the lens of the society we all belong to.

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WATCH: Inside Every Human Cell Lies the Fountain of Youth

Professor Douglas Melton takes a look at the basis for regenerative medicine, the human body’s ability to divide, grow, and specialize cells.

Surprising Science

Welcome to The Floating University. Instead of taking out thousands of dollars in student loans, or to get a jump-start on the education you wish you'd had, begin watching these amazing one-hour lectures by some of America's most talented thinkers, investors, artists, and leaders.

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