Published: 28/11/2015
ISBN: 9781784624552
eISBN: 9781785894596
Format: Paperback/eBook

"This is a book we have been waiting for, an essential integration of our basic human capacities, the emerging skills and tools available to us, and the daunting crises of our times.  Parlett has a rare gift for ranging from the personal to the global and back again, weaving these dynamic elements together with insight, empathy, and panache. The result for this reader is new perspective, new connections of ideas, and a renewed hope for our human future." – Gordon Wheeler, President of the Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California

"The whole human family face the urgent task of developing our collective consciousness and ways of being in the world. Malcolm Parlett eloquently and practically shows how we can develop five key human capacities that we all need." –Peter Hawkins, Professor of Leadership, Henley Business School and author of Leadership Team Coaching: Developing Collective Transformational Leadership, among other books.

“In all its wonderful intricacy, intimacy and gentle guidance, the essence of this book is an invitation to enter the Five Explorations he describes alongside Malcolm, an intrepid explorer himself, wholeheartedly embracing our future and the gifts we share.” – Emily Skye, poet, blogger and arts activist more

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Future Sense
Five explorations of whole intelligence for a world that’s waking up
by Malcolm Parlett PhD

Future Sense brings together two fields usually kept apart: the global crisis and personal experience. Malcolm Parlett identifies “the human dimension” as the most significant factor in determining our common future. Can human beings act together sensibly and cooperatively to solve problems and manage the world’s systems? If we cannot – and we act with collective stupidity – our species is endangered. But then, how does such stupidity come about? And what needs to happen to help human beings act with more insight, sure-footedness, and maturity?

Malcolm suggests in this book that our ideas of what it means “to be an educated person” are far too limited. Human beings need to embrace their whole intelligence. Taking someone like Nelson Mandela, we can recognise an intelligence that extends well beyond our normal ideas of cleverness, intellectual brilliance, and speed of thinking. We recognise whole intelligence in action when we see an individual, community, or organisation acting in a way that is original, courageous, to the point, and reflects humanity’s best values. These are often stand-out moments, where human energy, commitment, courage, and skilfulness are seen to come together with perceptiveness and maturity of perspective. Suddenly, a positive future seems more achievable.

The argument of this book is that leaders, experts, and government agencies – as well as activists and individual citizens – need to have greater access to their whole intelligence. They / we need to cultivate it, and grapple with the obstacles and attitudes which prevent or undermine it from being given fullest scope. Malcolm Parlett writes: “I am inviting readers to accompany me in exploring key dimensions of whole intelligence that I have identified in the course of my long experience as a psychological researcher and practitioner”. The book makes use of case histories, his own life experience, examples, and stories.

Readers and reviewers describe Future Sense as “the book that we have been waiting for” and as a “crucial guide to our new steps”. It has been described as “moving, ground-breaking and very readable”. As one reviewer wrote: "those concerned about the future of the world and their place in it will find their imaginations fired and their spirits lifted.”

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That's Books and Entertainment

A great read. Accessible, thoughtful and engaging.

by Pamela Hare Duke

Enjoyable and easy to read. Useful to, in terms of how to deal with a wide range of challenges / concerns / situations I face in my day to day life. I love the fact it is accessible and can become a shared language / approach that could unite humanity across different countries, disciplines and ages. Truly life enhancing. I see the world differently through a grateful heart.

by Dr Roberta Fry

This book is so beautifully written, it's a very easy book to read. Many of the arguments in the book were familiar to me but not fully developed in my mind. So I was nodding a lot, and saying yes, that's what I think too, but I hadn't realised it yet! I found new depth and thought that fleshed out ideas about whole intelligence. The author organised a great deal of material that was partially familiar to me, and yet organised into a new whole. I really enjoyed reading it and have found the ideas contained sedimenting since I finished the book. I would encourage anyone to read it who is interested in how each one of us and the institutions and communities we are embedded in can develop capacities for meeting the future with more creativity and responsiveness.

by Katy Wakelin


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