Online Forum Big Think (www.BigThink.com) Goes Live, Creates First-of-its-Kind Marketplace...
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Online Forum Big Think (www.BigThink.com) Goes Live, Creates First-of-its-Kind Marketplace for Idea-Sharing, Discussion Between Global Thought Leaders and Public Richard Branson, Senator Ted Kennedy, Richard Meier, Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson and Jacques Pepin Among First Big Thinkers to Mount Virtual Dialogue on Limitless Range of Topics Spanning Sociology to Spirituality to Souffles NEW YORK, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The launch of Big Think (www.BigThink.com), the first online venue for the growing global conversation about where we are and where we're headed, was announced today by co-founders Victoria Brown and Peter Hopkins. Taking cues from elite private institutions and conferences that convene thought leaders from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives to swap ideas about pressing global issues, Big Think adapts these models to the more egalitarian Web medium to give the public a voice in an ever-expanding virtual dialogue. Combining journalistically produced interviews with user-generated content, and playing both moderator and mediator, Big Think bridges what was an evident gap between credible, informed editorial opinion and the less controlled freestyle of online social media - thus creating a dynamic and wholly unique breed of engagement platform. January 7 marks the activation of the site's beta version; as the site evolves, so, too, will its networking capabilities and resources. "We live in a global age, and yet there is no central, global forum to exchange, discuss and debate the big issues and ideas of our time", says Big Think co-founder Victoria Brown. "Big Think is a needed social endeavor that will allow an engaged global audience to share the same platform as leading voices from around the world. Big Think is driven by the conviction that this conversation should be open across all geographies, boundaries and jurisdictions - not limited to one class, rank or station." Big Think's already extensive body of content and discussion (over 100 people interviewed; over 100 hours of footage banked) ranges from alternative energy to the subprime mortgage crisis, excerpting interviews with eclectic personalities and pundits - academics to politicos to cultural icons. The site's editors arrange the produced content per topic and idea, and users are encouraged to contribute opinions, ideas and rebuttals through their own video, picture, text and audio submissions. Prominence of issues addressed on the site is determined by their popularity, as well as by editorial selectivity. Ultimately, topics are sorted into one of two main site categories: "Meta" and "Physical." "Physical" comprises traditional issues like Policy and Politics, Arts and Culture, and Science and Technology, while "Meta" encompasses more abstract philosophical issues like Wisdom, Inspiration, and Faith and Beliefs. The result is a free-flowing exchange of ideas from contributors, famous and anonymous alike, neatly arranged in tabbed, linear formats. At site launch, Sen. Ted Kennedy, Gov. Mitt Romney, entrepreneur-extraordinaire Richard Branson, author Naomi Klein, musician Moby, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, master chef Jacques Pepin, Dr. Rick Warren and attorney and professor Alan Dershowitz are front-and-center, proffering candid insights on topics spanning the presidential primaries to prisoner torture to the essential ingredients one needs in a cupboard. Sen. Ted Kennedy on his worldview (excerpted from Kennedy's Big Think interview): "I think there's a real recognition that with democracy, we have no guarantee as a nation that we're gonna have future prosperity. We have no guarantee as a nation we're gonna have future security. And we have no guarantee as a nation we're gonna have future hope, and opportunity, and progress. Those values have to be fought for every single day, and I think that's a responsibility of citizenship ... The only way, really, our Democracy is gonna work is if people take the interest, take the time, involve themselves in the political life of our country and the world. It's enormously important." The value of Big Think as an emerging media property is reflected by a formidable group of financial backers who share the founders' vision for raising the quality of media by bringing great minds to a broad, global audience. These include Peter Thiel (PayPal, Facebook and Clarium Capital), Larry Summers (Former Secretary of the Treasury, Former President of Harvard), Tom Scott (Nantucket Nectars and Plum TV), and Gary David Goldberg (creator of Family Ties and Spin City). David Frankel, South African venture capitalist, is lead investor. A portion of Big Think's value is derived from its design as a cutting- edge commercial platform, offering advertisers an array of opportunities for visibility and creative integration of corporate perspective in the form of banner ads, interstitials, sponsored content and featured interviews with executives and principals. About the Creators of Big Think Victoria Brown and Peter Hopkins are the entrepreneurs and creative team driving Big Think. Former producers for PBS, Brown and Hopkins have produced hundreds of interviews with leading intellectuals, political figures and cultural icons. Brown is a graduate of Harvard Business School; Hopkins, a graduate of Harvard College. They are supported by a full Internet production staff. New York and San Francisco-based interactive media development and design firm Code and Theory - specialists in creating compelling online destinations and interactive experiences - created Big Think's user interface and back-end content management system. SOURCE Big Think Lisa Dallos, +1-212-582-9795, Lisa.Dallos@freud.com, or Casey Klurfeld, +1-212-582-9795, Casey.Klurfeld@freud.com, or Josh Raffel, +1-212-582-9795, Josh.Raffel@freud.com, all for Big Think