Big Think, a multimedia web portal, was founded in 2007 by Victoria Brown and Peter Hopkins. 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. As of November 2018, Big Think has begun producing videos sponsored by The Charles Koch Foundation.
Type of site
|Created by||Victoria Brown and Peter Hopkins|
The company began when the pair met while working with Google Video to digitize the VHS archives of the Charlie Rose show in 2006. Brown and Hopkins began contemplating how to organize information into "short-form intellectual videos targeting online audiences". They envisioned "an online platform where the world’s leading experts could weigh in on current issues". Hopkins envisioned the platform as being a YouTube for intellectuals.
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. The platform's debut introduced 2,000 clips involving 85 guests, who answered a question in three to five minutes. These included U.S. Senator John McCain, answering a question about his country's two-party system and Steven Pinker's video on human nature, among others.
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.
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. 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.
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. The company is privately owned.
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