Sensemaking: The Power of the Humanities in the Age of the Algorithm

Christian Madsbjerg

Madsbjerg argues that our fixation with data often masks deficiencies, and the risks for humankind are enormous. He posits that many of today's biggest success stories stem not from 'quant' thinking but from deep, nuanced engagement with culture, language, and history. He calls his method sensemaking. .

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Book Information

Publisher: Hachette Books
Publish Date: 03/21/2017
Pages: 240
ISBN-13: 9780316393249
ISBN-10: 031639324X
Language: English

What We're Saying

December 28, 2017

Wrapping up our look inside the books on our 2017 awards longlist, we take a peek at the books in the Big Ideas & New Perspectives category. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

March 31, 2017

Christian Madsbjerg's new book helps us make more sense of the world by encouraging us to include all the data in our decisions, human and technical. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

Based on his work at some of the world's largest companies, including Ford, Adidas, and Chanel, Christian Madsbjerg's Sensemaking is a provocative stand against the tyranny of big data and scientism, and an urgent, overdue defense of human intelligence. Humans have become subservient to algorithms. Every day brings a new Moneyball fix--a math whiz who will crack open an industry with clean fact-based analysis rather than human intuition and experience. As a result, we have stopped thinking. Machines do it for us. Christian Madsbjerg argues that our fixation with data often masks stunning deficiencies, and the risks for humankind are enormous. Blind devotion to number crunching imperils our businesses, our educations, our governments, and our life savings. Too many companies have lost touch with the humanity of their customers, while marginalizing workers with liberal arts-based skills. Contrary to popular thinking, Madsbjerg shows how many of today's biggest success stories stem not from quant thinking but from deep, nuanced engagement with culture, language, and history. He calls his method sensemaking. In this landmark book, Madsbjerg lays out five principles for how business leaders, entrepreneurs, and individuals can use it to solve their thorniest problems. He profiles companies using sensemaking to connect with new customers, and takes readers inside the work process of sensemaking connoisseurs like investor George Soros, architect Bjarke Ingels, and others. Both practical and philosophical, Sensemaking is a powerful rejoinder to corporate groupthink and an indispensable resource for leaders and innovators who want to stand out from the pack.

About the Author

Christian Madsbjerg is a founder of ReD Associates and the Director of its New York office. ReD is a strategy consulting company based in the human sciences and employs anthropologists, sociologists, art historians, and philosophers. Christian studied philosophy and political science in Copenhagen and London.

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