Follow Here To Purchase The Orbital Perspective: Lessons in Seeing the Big Picture from a Journey of 71 Million Miles

Author: Astronaut Ron Garan

Publisher: Berrett-Koehler

ISBN: 978-1-62656-246-2

Author, Astronaut Ron Garan, of The Orbital Perspective, is retired US Air Force. (inside back cover, 2015) He is a celebrated fighter pilot, entrepreneur, and astronaut with 178 days in space. Garan is founder of two organizations, an NPO Manna Energy Foundation and Fragile Oasis. One is a social incubator idea group and the other an action foundation for social and environmental change.

In the Preface (2015) Garan states that “…[his] intention [in writing this book] is to communicate call to action…asking everyone to look for ways to create exponential advancement toward solving the challenges facing our world.” I do not disagree and enjoyed reading about his plan.

The introduction, A Shift in Perspective, defines perspective as “There are two ways to define the word perspective. …the rendering or interpretation of a three-dimensional object on a two-dimensional plane…an attitude toward something, a point of view.” (2015, introduction, p.1) The distinction comes from what Garan states is “Two-dimensional thinking focused on the next quarterly report or election campaign. Three-dimensional thinking…brings to the forefront the long-term and global effects of every decision.” Furthrmore, Garan believes “It is possible to have peace in the world, to end wars, violence, and terrorism, but this can be done only once poverty is wiped from the face of the earth.” (p.4) The key to this dilemma is lodged in our long term thinking v. those short term gains. To achieve such things Garan says we need unified efforts instead of moving in different directions. “Open collaborations make solutions more effective and efficient through pooling of resources ad information.” (p.5) “…open collaboration encourages greater accountability, which in turn fosters trust.” “An effective collaboration mechanism will pair critical challenges with vital solutions…”.

All of the chapters tie space travel to this general plan for improving the world as we know it. Garan tells stories about how different the astronauts he met were, but also how they worked together to create a great end project. He believes that “Collaboration begins with mutual understanding and respect.” (2015, p.35) Collaborating on a world scale includes striking a balance that meets the fundamental requirements, but provides for open interactions and relationships of the various parties. (paraphrase, 2015, p.41)

Obviously, few of us will know what it felt like to be Astronaut Garan orbiting the earth and seeing the splendor of space. However, Garan does open our hearts and minds to the possibility of a peaceful, non-violent world where we all do what is best for each other in this interesting book and I personally love this idea. I enjoyed reading this book and believe that the more people who read and adhere to this philosophy the better our world will be. Read and enjoy!