Home Concepts Managing Stress & Challenges Bringing the Overview Effect Down to Earth

Bringing the Overview Effect Down to Earth

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Bringing the Overview Effect down to Earth will eventually involve many more people going into space. The impact will be even greater if it can be done with some training and preparation of the “new astronauts.” (13) However, we don’t have to wait. Similar shifts, taking place on a large scale, can be achieved through training and coaching leaders in a company, school, or government agency to appreciate the Overview Effect through simulations, dramatic, powerful visuals, listening to astronauts talk about what it is like, practice in focusing on their experience rather than what they already know, clarifying content and context, and appreciating the power of collective intelligence.

There can then be a movement from an identity of disparate parts to one in which people see themselves as functioning within a collective intelligence that has the capacity to acquire and apply knowledge, effectively adapt, and solve problems. Then, thousands of leaders would see the content of their work from the context of the Overview Effect and Collective Intelligence. For organizations embracing these concepts, it would not only give their school and companies a creative edge but would also advance planetary civilization as a whole. To quote shuttle astronaut Story Musgrave: “Ultimately, nothing matters except performance.” (14)



(1) “Overview Effect: One Sheet,” The Overview Institute, www.overviewinstitute.org, 2013.

(2) White, F., The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution (second edition), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1998, p. 204.

(3) Institute for Co-Intelligence,

(4) White, The Overview Effect, 1998, pp. 28-29.

(5) Ibid., pp. 73-83.

(6) Ibid., pg. 27, 28.

(7) This is a point that White’s colleague and co-founder of the Overview Institute, David Beaver, frequently makes.

(8) Panel discussion at premiere of the film “Overview,” by Planetary Collective, at Harvard University, December 7, 2012.

(9) White’s Kindle book, The New Camelot: Volume One: Camelot and the Overview Effect, goes into much greater detail on the unity/diversity distinction. http://www.amazon.com/The-New-Camelot-Volume-ebook/dp/B008WQ22RI/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1364741350&sr=1-1&keywords=The+New+Camelot

(10) White, The Overview Effect, 1998, p. 265.

(11) Interview by Frank White with Ron Garan for third edition of The Overview Effect (to be published fall 2013), 2012.

(12) Garan’s numerous projects include Fragile Oasis, a website dedicated to sharing “the orbital perspective” with astronauts and non-astronauts with the goal of improving life on Earth; Unity Node, a universal open source platform for global collaboration that humanitarian organizations can use to work together toward common goals; Manna Energy, a social incubator committed to the eradication of poverty through the implementation of sustainable, environmentally sound technologies; and Manna Energy Ltd., which Is leveraging the carbon market to provide clean water to millions.

(13) This is a topic that deserves much greater attention as commercial spaceflight becomes more commonplace. We want to note, as well, that Anna Hill is working through her company, Space Synapse, to bring “space to Earth” in a variety of ways. (Frank White is a consultant to Space Synapse.)

(14) Discussion between Story Musgrave and Charles Smith.


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