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5 stars for Expand by @christianbason and @jmskibsted #environmental #nonfiction

Title: Expand: Stretching the Future By Design

Author: Christian Bason and Jens Martin Skibsted

Genre: Environmental Economics, Business and Management, Social Aspects of Technology, Nonfiction

Book Blurb:

Today, it can seem as if the world has nothing but problems. And more than ever the boundaries of those problems are expanding in terms of the speed, scale, and impact by which they can alter business conditions, public governance, entire societies, the health of our planet, and the quality of our lives. Meeting these growing challenges requires ambitious new ways of designing solutions. With Expand: Stretching the Future By Design, authors Jens Martin Skibsted, a multiple-award winning designer, entrepreneur, and design philosopher, and Christian Bason, political scientist and CEO of the Danish Design Centre, take readers beyond “design thinking” to challenge current habits and carve out new space for more sustainable innovation. From transforming the ways we do business and reimagining health care, to creating planet-restoring housing and humanizing our digital lives in an age of AI, Expand explores how expansive thinking across six key areas—time, proximity, value, life, dimensions, and sectors—can provide radical, useful solutions to a whole host of current problems around the globe. With powerful real-world examples, the book challenges our freewheeling belief in technological determinism and its insensitivity toward ethics, humanity, and the environment. Expand is the first book to not just critique design thinking, but welcome it as a starting point for an ambitious, wide-ranging tale of how to expand and think beyond it. The best way to predict the future is to design it. Expand is the book that shows us how.

My Review:

Presented with a very understandable goal, this is a strong work. The introduction makes a ton of sense and can be embraced by many. There is invariably a strong Dane-centric approach which is not surprising. Wordy at times, the book still conveys a message that resonates.

This book is not without some gut-busting laughter for this reader. I must confess I have not 'grown' enough to endow rights and privileges to mosquitoes that try to drain the blood out of me. I further confess, I kill them with no compunction.

There are a number of concepts presented that are not easily grasped by the majority of readers. This book helps the spread of understanding by helpfully including short definitions in most of these cases. This cannot help but make the harder-to-follow sections easier to grasp.

The use of real-world examples helps to put the reader at ease when reading about the concepts here. This is done in such a well-written fashion the reader doesn't really notice how much they are learning as they are being informed and entertained. While the book may have concepts that require strong thinking, the basis of the book is admirable. The world has many problems. This book offers concrete steps towards making the world a better place. If only one of their concepts were adopted worldwide, the change in the quality of life would be incredible.

The final section listing four more real-life examples perfectly illustrates the concepts listed in this book. The appendix is extremely valuable as they provide a point form approach to each of the key sections. The world is in a difficult place now with plenty of problems. These authors have created a book that can only help people come up with solutions.

My Rating: 5 stars

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Author Biography:


Christian Bason is the CEO of DDC - Danish Design Center, a not-for-profit institution funded by the Danish government. DDC works to advance the value of design for business and society. Bason is the former Director of MindLab, the Danish government’s innovation team, and former Business Manager at Ramboll, a global consultancy. Christian is the author of seven books on innovation, design, and leadership, including Design for Policy and Leading Public Design. He has written for Harvard Business Review, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and Denmark’s Monday Morning. Christian is a board member of the Royal Danish Academy of Architecture, Design, and Conservation in Copenhagen, as well as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Agile Governance.


Jens Martin Skibsted, Global Partner at Manyone, is a multiple award-winning designer, entrepreneur, and design philosopher. Best known for his urban mobility designs for Biomega, and collaborations with design superstars such as Marc Newson and Bjarke Ingels. He is the founder of Biomega and has helped found several design consultancies including Skibsted Ideation, KiBiSi, and Manyone. His designs live in the collections at the MoMA, Le Cnap, Designmuseum Danmark, SFMOMA, etc. He is on the board of the Danfoss Foundation, Biomega and Manyone and a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on Mobility Transitions. Jens Martin is also a Young Global Leader alumnus who has spoken at Davos, DLD, TED, and more. His writing has appeared in the Huffington Post, Harvard Business Review, Børsen, Washington Post and Fast Company.

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Reviewed by: Mr. N

1 commentaire

Barbara Bettis
16 août 2022

This sounds like an interesting--and challenging--book. Any book that makes one actually think has to be challenging !! Thank you for sharing this!

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