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The Next Big Idea

Author: Wondery

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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.

32 Episodes
When Dr. Vivek Murthy became U.S. Surgeon General in 2014, he went on a listening tour. What he heard surprised him. Americans were lonely, and it was killing them. In this deeply personal conversation with Next Big Idea Club curator Susan Cain (author of “Quiet”), Murthy makes the medical case for love and friendship.Support us by supporting our sponsors!The Great Courses Plus — To start your free month trial, sign up today at Greens — Visit for 20 free travel packs
Olga Khazan describes weirdness as not fitting neatly into a box — regardless of what that box may be. It doesn’t just make other people see you as different — it also makes you feel like you don’t belong. But in this conversation with Next Big Idea Club curator Adam Grant, she says weirdness can also be surprisingly empowering.Support us by supporting our sponsors!Netsuite — Go to for a free product tour!Athletic Greens — Visit for 20 free daily travel packs!
Hook-ups, sexting, friends with benefits, ubiquitous porn — sometimes it seems like boys today are growing up in a world of easy sex and mindless gratification. But sit down and talk to them and you get a different story. Rufus speaks with Peggy Orenstein, who interviewed hundreds of boys for her new book, "Boys & Sex," about how they navigate a minefield of sexual rules and expectations.
Friends aren’t just fun to hang out with and handy in a pinch. They’re also a biological necessity. Rufus talks to journalist Lydia Denworth, author of a new book on the science of friendship, who explains why friends — even the online variety — make us happier, healthier, smarter, and more successful.Support us by supporting our sponsors!Great Courses — Get a free month trial at
We all face fork-in-the-road moments in our lives. In his 2005 bestseller “Blink,” Next Big Idea Club curator (and this episode’s guest interviewer) Malcolm Gladwell famously argued that snap judgments can be just as effective as meticulous planning. In this lively conversation, author Steven Johnson (“Farsighted”) disagrees, arguing that big, complex decisions require careful thought and scenario-building.Check out our "Rethinking Big Ideas" conversation with Steven Johnson: us by supporting our sponsors!NetSuite — Go to for a free product tour
In the cacophony of modern life, it can seem that talking, scoring points, and being heard are more important than paying attention to what others have to say. But journalist Kate Murphy says listening — really listening — can strengthen our ties to the people closest to us and create new connections in our lives.Support us by supporting our sponsors!Great Courses — Start your free month trial at
Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, we're living longer, on average, than at any time in history. So why do so many of us act like our last decades are a time to lower our expectations? Neuroscientist and musician Daniel Levitin says old age can be whatever we want it to be. He went deep into the science for his new book, “Successful Aging,” and he’s emerged with some tips.Support us by supporting our sponsors!The Next Big Idea Club — Go to and use the promo FREE3 for three free months.
For the grand finale of our stay-at-home miniseries, Rufus talks about work-life balance, the future of education, and the addictive nature of generosity with author, podcaster, and Next Big Idea Club curator Adam Grant.Support us by supporting our sponsors!Grammarly — Get 20% off when you sign up at — Get a free 30-day trial by visiting
In “The Art of Gathering,” conflict resolution specialist Priya Parker writes that “Every gathering is an opportunity to create a world we wish existed.” But sometimes we have to make do with the world we’ve got. She tells Rufus that we don’t have to be in the same place to come together in meaningful ways.Support us by supporting our sponsors!Great Courses — Get a free month at Next Big Idea Club — Join for free for three months at
Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler has never felt comfortable with an economic system that values short-term profits over long-term human needs. In a quarantine conversation with host Rufus Griscom, he shares his ideas for moving from a me/now world to one that cares about us and the future.Support us by supporting our sponsors!Freshbooks — To get a free 30-day trial, go to Weldon — For 20% off your first order, visit and enter promo code BIGIDEAThe Next Big Idea Club — Go to to get three free months
How will the pandemic change the way we organize our days? Our sense of purpose? Our commitments to others? So many questions! Who better to answer than Next Big Idea Club curator Daniel Pink, author of six books about motivation, leadership, and the changing nature of work.Support us by supporting our sponsors!The Next Big Idea Club — Go to for three months free!Great Courses Plus — Get a free month at
Last season, author/designer Ingrid Fetell Lee taught us about joy spotting. It’s the practice of going out into the world and finding ordinary objects that make you feel extraordinarily happy. But what about when you can’t leave the house? Well, it turns out joy lurks in all sorts of unexpected places — you just have to know where to look.Be sure to check out Ingrid’s website, the Aesthetics of Joy: us by supporting our sponsors!The Next Big idea Club — Go to to get three free monthsGrammarly — Visit for 20% off Grammarly premium
What kinds of bold thinking might lead us out of this pandemic? In this lively conversation, Steven Johnson and Rufus Griscom talk about the innovations that are paving the way. Steven is the author of numerous books and hosts "Fighting Coronavirus," a podcast about heroism, collaboration, and invention on the frontlines of the battle against this pandemic.To listen to “Fighting Coronavirus” click here: be sure to check out Steven’s other podcast, “American Innovations”: us by supporting our sponsors!The Next Big idea Club — Go to to get three free months.
Last season, we brought you ideas with the power to change the way you see the world. Now that the world’s been turned upside down, we thought it’d be a good time to invite back some of our favorite guests to give us some much needed perspective in this confusing time. We’re starting this special miniseries, “Rethinking Big Ideas,” with Susan Cain, the bestselling author of "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in A World That Can't Stop Talking." She tells us about the upside to solitude, why introspection has never been more important, and even gives us a few tantalizing clues about her new book.Check out the Rotterdam Philharmonic’s socially-distanced rendition of “Ode to Joy”: learn more about Susan's book, visit us by supporting our sponsors!The Next Big idea Club — Go to and use promo code FREE3 for three free months.
What do the Buddha, John F. Kennedy, Mr. Rogers, and Leonardo da Vinci all have in common? The ability to be still and tune out the busy, buzzing drone of modern life. Ryan Holiday, the author of “Stillness Is the Key,” shares his tips for slowing down, calming your mind and body, and accessing the tranquility deep inside.This is the last episode of season one. Thanks for listening! The Next Big Idea will return on April 21st.Support us by supporting our sponsors!ZipRecruiter — Try ZipRecruiter for free at Weldon — For 20% off your first order, visit and use the promo code BIGIDEANext Big Idea Club — Want a free copy of "Stillness Is the Key"? Visit and use promo code STILL
Andrew Yang has a pretty bleak vision for the future. The way he sees it, we’re staring down the barrel of a techno-apocalypse. Robots will replace millions of workers. Income inequality will skyrocket. And social isolation will become the new normal. But Yang has a big idea he thinks can stave off disaster. It’s called universal basic income — a $1,000 check in the mail each month, no strings attached. Yang’s been pushing this magic bullet for a long time, first in his book, “The War on Normal People,” and now as he campaigns for president. But would it really make a difference, and is it even realistic? Andrew Yang makes his case to Rufus Griscom in front of a live audience in New York City.Support us by supporting our sponsors!Bombas — Visit for 20% off your first purchase.The Next Big Idea Club — Want a free copy of Andrew Yang's "The War on Normal People"? Go to and use promo code NORMAL.
Why is it so hard to break bad habits and replace them with good ones? You may think it all comes down to willpower. But social psychologist Wendy Wood says that if you really want to change your life, then you need to tap into your unconscious mind. Wood, who’s just written a book called “Good Habits, Bad Habits,” chats with Next Big Idea Club curator and host of TED’s Work Life Podcast Adam Grant about harnessing the science of habit formation to make positive changes that last.Support us by supporting our sponsors!ZipRecruiter — Try ZipRecruiter for free at Big Idea Club — Want a free copy of Wendy Wood's book? Visit and enter the promo code HABITS
Why do so many of our get-togethers feel awkward and unproductive? Priya Parker, author of “The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters,” says it’s because most of us don’t know how to transform stuffy events—from conferences to tedious family dinners to office holiday parties—into memorable gatherings full of moments to savor. Parker shares the secrets of being a good host, lessons everyone can learn from Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding, and tips for revolutionizing your next business meeting.Support us by supporting our sponsors!Daily Harvest — Go to and enter promo code BIGIDEA to get $25 off your first boxNetsuite — Schedule your free demo at
In this episode, we’re peering into the future with Kickstarter co-founder and CEO Yancey Strickler. He’s got a new book out called “This Could Be Our Future,” and it’s all about transforming our world into a more kind and generous place.By the way, we’re taking next week off. The Next Big Idea returns with new episodes on January 7th!Support us by supporting our sponsors!Native — For 20% off your first purchase, visit and use the promo code BIGIDEA during checkout.The Next Big Idea Club — The best books of the year delivered to your door. To get a free copy of "This Could Be Our Future," visit and use the code FUTURE.
Most of us are taught that hard work and talent are the keys to getting ahead. Turns out it’s not so easy. In his new book, “The Meritocracy Trap,” Yale professor Daniel Markovits says meritocracy isn’t leveling the playing field. Instead, it’s a pretense for concentrating privilege and intensifying inequality. He tells us the time has come to redesign the workplace, reinvent higher education, and reimagine meritocracy so it actually works for everyone.Support us by supporting our sponsors!Daily Harvest — Go to and enter promo code BIGIDEA to get $25 off your first box!Audible — Get three months of Audible for just $6.95 a month. Visit — Schedule your free demo at Big Idea Club — The best books of the year delivered to your door. Visit and enter promo code MERIT to a get a free copy of The Meritocracy Trap!
Comments (28)

Craig Peters

Sooooo many ads. Thank goodness for the skip 30 seconds button, although it needs 4 or 5 hits at least to get to content again. Finger hovering over the unsubscribe button. I know they need to make money - but this is close to commercial radio obnoxiousness.

Apr 29th

Helena Tusek

Thank you for this podcast! It brought me joy as well and paved ways for new joyous moments in the future! Thank you both 🙏🙏

Apr 26th

Nancy McCann

b xero

Apr 19th

Bruce Hrabak

dumb episode. repackage socialism and communism. gove everyone a grand a month and the market will just magically keep the same prices.....because it has worked so well for housing. 🤢

Feb 6th

Steven Slater

the fact you have to bring race into this shows your true agenda. lame.

Jan 21st

Bruce Hrabak

success: episode was horrible but a thought provoking series moody of the time. A elite professor answer to elite issues is send more kids to yale 😝. and if we're force less people tp be elite than more will be middleclass.... come on this episode was a strawman with no straw

Jan 9th
Reply (1)

Tevin Shadd

Commercial breaks were too frequent and jarring, disrupted the flow of the episode . Podcast is amazing though, easily an instant favorite

Nov 26th

Rajesh Singh

There is noting new in the ideas on this podcast. The name is misleading. Just change it.

Nov 15th

Rajesh Singh

Everything is bullshit here.

Nov 15th

Rajesh Singh

This podcasts name is very misleading. Everything they talk is nothing related to title of this podcast.

Nov 15th

Kathleen Fuller

It's a joy to listen to this! 😄

Nov 8th

phil desoyjeb

In a passing sentence you grossly mischaracterized the contents of the Google memo by James Damore indicating that you did not read it. How are we now supposed to take this podcast as credible?

Nov 7th

Nonya Business

Same old pyscobable crap I've heard in 1 format or another for 40 years. Far from the next big idea just a bunch of recycled obvious concepts "curated" by a "club" of people trying to sell books. Nothing remotely new or interesting here folks.

Nov 2nd

jesus avz


Nov 1st

Navya Acharya

mono ko

Oct 31st

Stijn Mannaerts

Funny. In the podcast the speaker says "like linked in, where there are no ads". 2 seconds later the podcast sponsor talk states "advertise on linked in now" 🤔🤭😉

Oct 30th


the host needs to stop saying 'right' while the guest is talking!

Oct 24th

Chathuraka Kannangara (CK)

thanks for this session. valuable stuff 👌

Oct 22nd

R man

i didnot understand

Oct 21st
Reply (3)

x kitten

Such a great episode

Oct 16th
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