Book Review: ‘Big Mind’ by Geoff Mulgan

MuBig Mind: About the Book

Big Mind: How Collective Intelligence Can Change Our World focuses the reader on every aspect of collective intelligence. From epistemology to societal thinking. This book is extremely thorough in its explanation of each section with quotes from relevant academic and business thinking. Descriptions of the applications and successes of Google Maps and Dove satellites are well explained coherently.
Mulgan emphasises the importance of verifying data before accepting it. And that is by utilising examples that probably changed the world. Such as the negotiations between President Ronald Reagan and former Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev.

Book cover image of Big Mind by Geoff Mulgan

Focuses on idea of collective intelligence

Mulgan wrote Big Mind skillfully and with real-life examples. And that helps us understand why it is humans who will fundamentally change the world for the better. And not artificial intelligence.  This is particularly relevant in the age of a specific concentration on AI. Mulgan explains that it is human intervention, indeed, collective intelligence that will drive tomorrow’s technologies.  Mulgan’s true skill comes in writing on a topic that is very much a fascinating field. He covers it from the ‘limitlessly broad to highly specific’.  Alongside this, the thinking and literature surrounding this fascinating topic can move in every direction. And that is with little in terms of a set framework or concept.
Mulgan uses the adage. “If you ask enough people to count the bricks in a wall, more will get the right answer than not”. This book provides an excellent view of how we can utilise collective intelligence for effective and quality innovation. All the elements in this book may not be relevant for training professionals, but it does provide an intensive view on how we can collectively enhance outputs.

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Final Thoughts

With its well thought out and applicable solutions, I would recommend this book to all levels of management. Whether it is frontline issues or complex decisions, Big Mind provides a different way of dealing with them.

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