September 14, 2016
Broadcast journalist Terre Blair interviews Warren Buffett, Madeleine Albright, Thomas Friedman, Steven Soderbergh, Michael R. Bloomberg and others
New York, NY – September 14, 2016 – Bloomberg Media, in partnership with Terre Blair, today announced the launch of its new six-part television and video series “Big Problems. Big Thinkers.,” which will air globally on Bloomberg.com and Bloomberg Television and in New York City’s Times Square at 8 pm ET on Wednesday, September 14th, 2016. The series will examine some of the biggest threats facing humanity and the possible solutions underway to solve them. The first three episodes are produced in partnership with Cisco, a global leader in technology solutions, and will include custom animated vignettes specifically created for the program by Bloomberg Media’s content studio Kinection.
Terre Blair, broadcast journalist and wife of the late composer and conductor Marvin Hamlisch, is the mastermind behind “Big Problems. Big Thinkers.” As the creator, producer and interviewer, she spent years probing the thinking of an extraordinary group of leaders on issues ranging from the impact of climate change on humanity to the definition of success, the importance of morality and what constitutes happiness. Throughout the series, viewers will hear Warren Buffett, the Dalai Lama, Steven Soderbergh and others discuss profound issues in deeply personal terms.
“This project is an exciting way to reach new audiences and provide our viewers with smart, thought-provoking content that extends beyond day-to-day market activity, yet still has an impact on the business and financial worlds in which they live,” said Jacki Kelley, COO of Bloomberg Media. “It’s rare that you hear from global leaders such as these on how they would tackle the toughest questions of our time.”
Cut from many hours of interview footage, “Big Problems. Big Thinkers.” began as an academic research project for Blair, who wanted to understand the ethical and moral guidelines that would help society confront the challenges of the future. The questions she posed, rooted deeply in values, often coalesced around the six issues the series will feature. Each episode focuses on one key issue: climate change, the economy, measuring success, foreign affairs, media and political paralysis.
“Our survival as a human race is dependent upon the critical issues addressed throughout the series,” said Blair. “At a time when there are many nonessential distractions, we are trying to bring these issues to the forefront and encourage people to act so that their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will have a safer, more productive place to live.”
Cisco is the exclusive partner for the first three episodes, which feature animated vignettes that bring to life the ways the company’s technology is shaping how businesses, cities and people collaborate to tackle some of the world’s greatest problems. Using its Kinection custom content studio, Bloomberg Media developed and produced custom content for Cisco that aligns with the themes explored in the program.
“Our goal is to ensure the advertising is as compelling as the content in which it lives,” added Kelley. “We believe this is a shining example of this ambition. Together with Cisco, we’ve created 13 minutes of custom animation demonstrating how Cisco technology is positively impacting some of these big issues.”
“At Cisco we believe that there’s never been a better time to solve the world’s problems through technology,” said Michele Janes, vice president, global marketing and branding, Cisco. “From climate change to the global economy and beyond, Bloomberg’s Big Problems. Big Thinkers. series will inspire us to consider our roles in helping to improve people’s lives. Cisco is proud to participate in this important conversation.”
Coinciding with the docu-series’ live television premiere, Kinetic Worldwide, the global leader in contextually connecting and activating audiences on the move, sought to bring the 6-part series to life in a grand and impactful way. The first episode will air on the corner of 42nd Street and 8th Avenue in the heart of Times Square at 8 pm ET on Wednesday, September 14th. This activation makes “Big Problems. Big Thinkers.” the first television show to premiere a full 30 minute episode on a Times Square billboard using closed captioning at the same time as a live TV show is airing.
“Kinetic is thrilled to partner with Bloomberg on this incredible project,” said Maureen McCloskey, Managing Director at Kinetic Worldwide. “We wanted to help bring the message of Big Problems. Big Thinkers. to life in a grand way, raise the awareness of the issues facing our world, and encourage audiences to tune in. We hope that the series gets everyone thinking about the part they play in making the world and their communities a better place. We could not have done this without the support of the larger out-of-home community.”
Participant Media is also a key ally, providing viewers with impact volunteering opportunities around issues addressed in the show through their digital magazine and social action platform, TakePart at www.takepart.com/think. Following the show’s premiere on Bloomberg Television, several episodes of the series will air on Pivot TV in October.
“Big Problems. Big Thinkers.” was first unveiled by Bloomberg Media during its NewFront presentation in May 2016 along with other shows including “Hello World” about global inventors, scientists and technologists shaping our future, “Success By Design” about the business of luxury and a new series hosted by financier David Rubenstein, featuring rare executive interviews related to leadership.
For more on “Big Problems. Big Thinkers,” including full episodes and clips, please visit www.bloomberg.com/bpbt. Follow the conversation on Twitter by tagging @business. Bloomberg Television’s Matthew Saal is the Executive Producer and John Rebecchi is the Director.
Bloomberg Television is a global business and financial television network, available in more than 360 million households worldwide across more than 70 countries. Bloomberg TV is also delivered to the Bloomberg Professional service, which guides the world’s financial elite with indispensable real-time data, news, and analysis. Leveraging the content, resources and infrastructure of Bloomberg TV, Bloomberg is the #1 source of global business video, reaching 23.3 million unique viewers worldwide in June 2016.
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