45 episodes

The Next Big Idea

Wondery Education
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Neuroscientist, philosopher, podcaster, author, meditation guru, and unabashed atheist Sam Harris is one of our best-known — and most controversial — public intellectuals. In this bonus episode, he and Rufus talk about consciousness, free will, morality, and people’s stubborn insistence on being irrational.

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You have to play with the hand you’re dealt. At least that’s what we’re always told. But is it really true? How much of what we achieve in life is the product of our pluck and guile, and how much is just dumb luck? To find out, New Yorker writer Maria Konnikova dropped everything and joined the pro poker tour. The lessons were not what she expected.

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You may have heard about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which sees human development as a sort of a pyramid, with survival needs at the bottom, social and emotional needs in the middle, and “self-actualization” at the top. Psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman thinks we can do better. Instead of striving to become our best selves, we can strive to connect with the world beyond ourselves — to truly transcend.

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The Great Courses Plus – Get FREE access to the entire library at thegreatcoursesplus.com/bigidea.

The Next Big Idea – Visit https://www.nextbigideaclub.com/podcast and use the code FREE3 for a three-month pass.

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Aug 18, 2020

HUMANKIND: Finding Hope in Human History

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Our society is built on the assumption that we’re all a broken stoplight away from reverting to our animal selves. It’s what we’ve come to call “realism.” Historian Rutger Bregman thinks that kind of realism is, well, unrealistic. And not because we can learn to be better, but because deep down, we already are.

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Great Courses Plus — thegreatcoursesplus.com/bigidea

The Next Big Idea Club — Visit https://www.nextbigideaclub.com/podcast and use the code FREE3 for a three-month pass.

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Aug 11, 2020

MIGRATION: Why Human Beings Were Built to Move

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Birds do it, bees do it, even fishes in the seas do it. So why do we have such a hard time when people migrate from one place to another? Science writer Sonia Shah presents the evidence that migration is central to the human story — and it just might save us from what’s coming next.

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The Next Big Idea Club — Visit https://www.nextbigideaclub.com/podcast and use the code FREE3 for a three-month pass.

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Aug 04, 2020

BREATH: Harnessing the Power of a Lost Art

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We do it 25,000 times a day, but most of us rarely give breathing a thought. Author James Nestor says we’re missing out on one of the most powerful pathways to health and happiness. He leads Rufus through the ins and outs of intentional breathing, revealing its potential to clear our minds, heal our bodies, and help us achieve incredible things. 

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The Next Big Idea Club — Visit https://www.nextbigideaclub.com/podcast and use the code FREE3 for a three-month pass.

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Jul 28, 2020

PERSUASION: How to Change People’s Minds

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Businesses want people to buy their products. Parents want their kids to eat their vegetables. We all want to convince someone to do something. So we push and we prod – but often to no avail. Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger says there’s a better way. In this high-speed conversation with Rufus, he lays out his formula for removing barriers to change.

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The Next Big Idea Club — Visit https://www.nextbigideaclub.com/podcast and use the code FREE3 for a three-month pass.

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Jul 21, 2020

ALCHEMY: How Our Creations Recreate Us

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Since humans sharpened the first stick and lit the first fire, we have been on an innovation spree, constantly developing new tools and materials to solve our problems. But material scientist Ainissa Ramirez says innovation is a two-way street. Drawing on stories about eight key inventions, she tells Rufus how our creations can change us in surprising ways.

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The Next Big Idea Club — Visit https://www.nextbigideaclub.com/podcast and use the code FREE3 for a three-month pass.

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Think bigger. Create better. Live smarter. Ideas are coming at you every day from all directions. Where do you even start? Hosted by Rufus Griscom, and featuring thought-leaders Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Adam Grant, and Daniel Pink, THE NEXT BIG IDEA brings you the most groundbreaking ideas that have the power to change the way you live, work, and think. Each episode dives deep into one big idea through immersive storytelling, narration and curator interviews with the most interesting authors at work today.