Big Think

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Big Think
Type of site
Web portal
Created byVictoria Brown and Peter Hopkins
Launched2007; 14 years ago (2007)
Current statusActive

Big Think is a multimedium web portal founded in 2007 by Victoria Brown and Peter Hopkins.[1][2] The website is a collection of interviews, presentations, and roundtable discussions with experts from a wide range of fields. Victoria Brown is the acting CEO. Peter Hopkins is the acting president of the company.


The company began when the pair met while working with Google Video to digitize the VHS archives of the Charlie Rose show in 2006.[3] Brown and Hopkins began contemplating how to organize information into "short-form intellectual videos targeting online audiences".[3] They envisioned "an online platform where the world’s leading experts could weigh in on current issues".[4] Hopkins envisioned the platform as being a YouTube for intellectuals.[1]

In 2008 they launched with only video content. The materials involve short clips but with enough content so that they foster thinking, learning, and debate.[5]

In 2009, they branched into blogs and written content. Their first notable blogger was Dr. Michio Kaku. Other personalities include Angelina Jolie, who joined a panel of experts in a discourse over displaced children in Iraq, and Esther Dyson who talked about the opportunities from space exploration.[5]

In 2012, Big Think started live-streaming and providing individual and companies with "real-time interaction with notable guests". The platform also serves as a resource for educators and researchers, facilitating online learning.[6] As of March 2012, the Big Think YouTube channel passed 20 million views, and the video archive of the website included more than 12,000 clips from 2000+ experts.[4]

Big Think has created video series on 'Courageous Collaborations', 'Academic Freedom' and 'Education Innovation' sponsored by The Charles Koch Foundation.[7]

Initial investors[edit]

Some of the initial investors in the project were Peter Thiel from PayPal, Tom Scott of Nantucket Nectars, television producer Gary David Goldberg, lead investor and venture capitalist David Frankel, and former Harvard University President Lawrence Summers.[8] The company is privately owned.[8]


Big Think has since spun out other sites: Big Think Edge for Business and Floating University for Higher Education.[9][10]


  1. ^ a b Arango, Tim (2008). "Ex-Harvard President Meets a Former Student, and Intellectual Sparks Fly". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  2. ^ "Big Think Company Profile: Valuation & Investors | PitchBook". Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  3. ^ a b Melber, Ari (2008-03-31). "YouTube for Smart People". The Nation. Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  4. ^ a b Kanani, Rahim. "Cofounder and President of BigThink Talks Getting Smarter Faster". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  5. ^ a b Bonk, Curtis J. (2009). The World Is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass. p. 226. ISBN 9780470461303.
  6. ^ Sutton, Brian; Basiel, Anthony (2014). Teaching and Learning Online: New Models of Learning for a Connected World. New York: Routledge. pp. xi. ISBN 9780415528566.
  7. ^ "Sponsored by the Charles Koch Foundation". Retrieved 2020-01-06.
  8. ^ a b "Big Think". Crunchbase. Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  9. ^ Edge, Big Think. "Big Think Edge | Modern Video Learning for Your Organization". Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  10. ^ Editors, Big Think. "Welcome to The Floating University: Big Think Launches E-Learning Platform". Big Think. Retrieved 2018-03-26.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)

External links[edit]