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Written from Ron Garan’s unique perspective as an astronaut, The Orbital Perspective reminds us of our common humanity and that the pressing challenges we face, we must face and resolve together through tolerance, dialogue and cooperation. —Kofi A. Annan Nobel Peace Laureate
It is said that to understand a problem properly you need to get outside of it. Ron Garan has certainly done that. Ron’s focus on finding new connections and collaborations that cross borders of all sorts might just allow us to transform the world for the better before we destroy this big blue ball we call home. —Peter Gabriel, musician and a founder of WOMAD, Witness, and The Elders
Oakland, CA – Berrett-Koehler Publishers is pleased to announce the publication of the new book, “The Orbital Perspective,” by Ron Garan. While Garan was floating in space, attached to the ISSCanadaArm 2, he was struck by a profound and sudden revelation. Our planet, Earth, is a fragile oasis, floating in a vast and infinite Universe and we humans are tasked with the daunting responsibility of protecting that oasis. But, the only way we can do that is by collaborating and working together. http://www.orbitalperspective.com
Garan vividly conveys what it was like learning to work with a diverse group of people in an environment only a handful of human beings have ever known. But more importantly, he describes how he and others are working to apply the orbital perspective here at home, embracing new partnerships and processes to promote peace, and to combat hunger, thirst, poverty, and environmental destruction. This book is a call to action for each of us to care for the most important space station of all: planet Earth.
Col. Ron Garan (USAF ret.) is a decorated fighter pilot, astronaut, aquanaut, and social entrepreneur from Houston, and has logged 178 days in space and 71 million miles in orbit. The first TED speaker to ever give a talk from space, Garan is a frequent keynote speaker. He is the founder of the nonprofit social enterprise incubator Manna Energy Foundation, as well as Fragile Oasis (FragileOasis.org), an effort to inspire positive social and environmental action using the orbital perspective.
“Astronaut Ron Garan’s fabulous book will transport you from the magnificent sense of possibility in outer space to the perspective of a worm on Earth’s rich soil and will reassert our fundamental connection to one another in ways that challenge and inspire. With examples from NASA collaborations to developing world problems, this book is an important call to action. We all need more of an orbital perspective to remind us that, in the end, we only have each other.” —Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO, Acumen, and author of The Blue Sweater
“Looking at the world from outer space changes your perspective on everything, as Ron Garan proves in his new book. The Orbital Perspective is an inspirational knockout. After reading this book you will refuse to accept the status quo on our planet.” —Wladimir Klitschko, PhD, founder, Klitschko Management Group, and Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World
“Astronaut Ron Garan brings us a wonderful call to shift our point of view from local to global, from myopic to orbital. This ontological awakening is the kind of consciousness-altering, ego-dissolving, mind-reconfiguring experience that renders our common purpose clear: we need to leverage our collective genius to overcome our challenges and unleash our potential. Bravo!” —Jason Silva, filmmaker, media artist, and host of National Geographic Channel’s Brain Games
“This is more than just a book; it is a call to action and a catalyst for a necessary movement. In gripping stories from an extraordinary astronaut turned activist, Ron Garan highlights the key contradiction of our time: that we sit at the cusp of sobering realities and incredible opportunities. We need to look beyond what we think is possible and reimagine a world in which no one is limited by his or her circumstances; every student, parent, entrepreneur, and concerned citizen should be required to dive headfirst into these pages. This is a defining book for a defining time in human history.” —Daniel Epstein, founder and CEO, Unreasonable Group
“Put a humanitarian into a spacesuit and keep sending him into space, and books like this are bound to be written. If only we could send more people into space so as to allow them a chance to gain the orbital perspective that has enlightened Ron Garan. You see, global problems can have a personal solution.”—Keith Cowing, Executive Director, Space College Foundation
“There have been many attempts to describe the shift in perception that astronauts often experience when viewing Earth from orbit or the moon. Perhaps the most comprehensive in Frank White’s book The Overview Effect, which was first published in 1987. In the first edition Frank interviewed sixteen astronauts about their experiences in space, and he coined the term “overview effect” and developed it into a theory to describe the perspective shift that some of these space travelers experienced.
If the overview effect is a change in perception that one gets from physically seeing Earth from space and in space, then the orbital perspective derives from that experience and drives what we do with it. The orbital perspective is the call to action that results from the overview effect. The key for me is that the orbital perspective involves taking action. Seeing Earth from the vantage point of space not only provides a unique perspective but also can trigger a response that leads to a desire to make the world a better place for all its inhabitants.”
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