Bob Johansen’s “Full Spectrum Thinking”

Bob Johansen’s Full Spectrum Thinking: How to Escape Boxes in a Post-Categorical World is one of the most multi-facet studies about the future and mankind’s evolutionary potential published in recent memory. Johansen is a respected author with ten previous books to his credit and this latest publication promotes high-flown concepts in a way any experienced reader can appreciate. It isn’t a lengthy book by any stretch of the imagination which, in my opinion, makes it all the more remarkable that Johansen delves as deep as he does in this condensed space. His facility as a writer is apparent throughout each of the book’s three parts and its concluding section. Johansen marshals what he has to say and conveys himself with equal parts erudite application of evidence and emphatic declaration. 

Some might find Johansen a little too sure of himself. He doesn’t lack for confidence in his theories, beliefs, or presentation. The book is overflowing with firmly held ideas about what the future holds for the species and expresses them with unwavering belief. The first part makes the argument for why our old way of approaching the world will serve us little good in the future scramble to come. You can, without question, read Johansen’s book as a call to arms for a change of consciousness. Its rejection of categorical thinking in favor of wider perception and a multi-level understanding of the world we inhabit reads will sound revolutionary to many, perhaps inspiring, which others will think it comes off as Utopian at best. 


I like the way Johansen brings his experiences and those of others together in a potent mix. This approach defines the book at large and gives it a recognizable style you can latch onto from the first. He has the makings of a fine storyteller and transitions from one to another with relaxed fluency; it reads effortless. There are a number of tables and figures included with the text, but Johansen lets his prose carry the day. The aforementioned illustrations, however, are incorporated well into the book and accentuate key portions of the text. 

He draws his data and information for the book from a bevy of places. Johansen has a skill for referencing outside sources are pointed in their ability to strengthen his own ideas and theories for the reader. This is a thinker and writer who understands how to structure his argument and its supporting points in the most convincing way. Full Spectrum Thinking is a winner in that regard from beginning to end. The former President and now Distinguished Fellow for the organization Institute for the Future is definitely a voice on the side of human progress and brings the full force of his vision to bear on this book. It is a worthwhile reading experience for anyone interested in the world to come. Full Spectrum Thinking: How to Escape Boxes in a Post-Categorical World takes a confident stride past the usual writing we’re offered on the subject. It boasts a fresh and daring perspective.

Nicole Killian

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Nicole loves to go cross country skiing, swimming, reading and critiquing books, listening and critiquing music, some culinary arts, pottery, spending time with my daughter, cheesy horror films.

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