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Sensemaking: The Power of the Humanities in the Age of the Algorithm Hardcover – March 21, 2017

4.1 out of 5 stars 49 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

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"At Ford, we believe the key to creating products and experiences that truly make people's lives better is to deeply understand our customers. Technology alone isn't enough. So we've changed our product development process to focus on the customer experience--and not just the vehicle itself. In Sensemaking, Christian Madsbjerg explains with depth and structure how this is done."―Mark Fields, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company

"This book makes powerful sense. Madsbjerg is a fascinating fellow, philosophically astute and immensely business savvy. Packed with a rich array of concrete examples and thick data, Madsbjerg shows how the problems of the coming century are cultural and how we require the tools of the humanities--especially philosophy--in order to confront them successfully. This is essential reading for anyone in the world of business and everyone with a concern for how human beings make sense of their world. Highly recommended."―Simon Critchley, Hans Jonas Professor of Philosophy, The New School

"Having helped some of the world's largest companies transition for the digital age, it's clear to me that those best positioned to win in today's marketplace possess a deep and human understanding of their customers. Companies must master not just big data, but thick data--insight into culture, history, and the social structures underlying human behavior. Sensemaking is the road map for how this works, and it is essential reading for anyone looking to thrive in a world of digital disruption."
Francisco D'Souza, CEO, Cognizant

"Almost twenty years ago, I wrote, 'To be qualified to be a chief executive officer, you must be broad-gauged, widely read, and have many diverse interests.' This remains just as true in today's world, where companies have become enthralled with quantitative analysis. Christian Madsbjerg's Sensemaking is a powerful defense of human intelligence to solve problems. Anyone who dreams of leading a company should read it--and heed his wonderfully contrarian advice."
Jeffrey Fox, bestselling author of How to Become CEO and How to Become a Rainmaker

"Many have decried the widespread conclusion that the humanities have lost relevance, but few have proposed how to respond. Offering neither a rearguard defense of the humanities as we have known them, nor an unrealistic plea to other fields simply to take them seriously, Christian Madsbjerg offers a ringing endorsement of how humanities knowledge is still critically necessary to make sense of the world and its problems. With roots in Aristotle, Sensemaking calls on humanists to reinterpret their contribution while showing others how they cannot do without it. It is a book of the first importance."―Samuel Moyn, author of The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History and Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law and Professor of History, Harvard University

"Producing a mixture of how-to text and trenchant philosophy, Madsbjerg illustrates his formula for problem-solving with rich, captivating anecdotes.... Madsbjerg is no Luddite-he fully understands the value of data generated by algorithms-but he feels certain that one finely tuned human mind can solve problems that are beyond the grasp of emotionless computers."―Kirkus Reviews

"Madsbjerg thinks that if businesses accept pure data as the only truth, they are in danger of losing their ability to understand people. But it is by no means the author's aim to dismiss stem subjects. Through his particular method, his intention is to help companies find the right balance. The best CEOs can read a novel and a spreadsheet."―Financial Times

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. He lives in New York City.

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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5
49 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on February 3, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on April 30, 2017
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Top international reviews

Cloud, Data and AI Professional
4.0 out of 5 stars The Five Principles of Sensemaking
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 20, 2018
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Nikos Karamalegkos
5.0 out of 5 stars A book with ideas that make sense
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 7, 2017
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting quick read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 5, 2017
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3.0 out of 5 stars Could be better
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 29, 2018
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Helga Stegmann
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 13, 2020
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cesar carneiro penna
5.0 out of 5 stars O Sensemkaing é uma perspectiva; uma lente para enxergar coisas e pessoas que merece uma boa parte da nossa atenção.
Reviewed in Brazil on May 21, 2018
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Jorge Campos
3.0 out of 5 stars The author makes a really good point. Using our brains and our experience must ...
Reviewed in Canada on October 20, 2017
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Pronob Mukerji
5.0 out of 5 stars Sense from Sensemaking.... great read
Reviewed in India on November 22, 2019
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Dr. Thomas Osborn
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I needed to complete my collection.
Reviewed in Australia on July 11, 2019
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptionally good business book
Reviewed in Canada on September 16, 2017
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spaceclav
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful stories, but not persuasive
Reviewed in Japan on December 15, 2018
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