The Big Picture is an essential compilation of the serious issues, problems and challenges all of us living on the planet face. Everybody should read this to understand better what is going on around us.
Astronaut European Space Agency
The Big Picture is a comprehensive read that tackles the most pressing challenges and opportunities of our time. Topics are presented in an interconnected manner and are put forward with such urgency that the reader is forced to challenge their own beliefs and values. Bringing together cutting-edge research and multiple perspectives, this work is an invaluable tool for everyone supporting the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Big Picture leaves us in little doubt of the need for rapid change in order to secure the brightest and most sustainable future for generations to come.
PROF. DR. JAN PETER BALKENENDE
Former Prime Minister of the Netherlands
Chairman Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition
Professor Governance, Institutions and Internationalisation (Full Professor), Erasmus University Rotterdam
Holding governments and companies accountable for their actions is necessary in order to ensure that pressing global challenges such as climate change or inequality move up the political agenda. The other tool we have at our disposal is our collective leadership that globally can help move us forward in a way that is both inspiring and change inducing. The Big Picture supports this cause. With great clarity and detail, this book takes the reader on a journey, not only exploring the multiple forces that are changing our world but connecting the dots between them. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to play an active role in positively shaping the future of humanity.
Director and founder of the Urgenda Foundation
Most of us struggle to understand the complexity and interdependency of our rapidly changing world. In the daily news, we witness geopolitical dynamics, new emerging technologies, human tragedies and the impact of our changing climate. Meanwhile, we find it hard to connect the dots helping to do something about it. The Big Picture brings light to this darkness. It very comprehensively helps us to understand the drivers of change and their root causes with astonishing clarity. And through that understanding it allows us to make the right choices for our future and the future of our children. It helps us to “think big, act small, and start somewhere.”
GENERAL TOM MIDDENDORP
Former Chief of Defence of the Netherlands
Chairman – International Military Council on Climate and Security
“A butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil can produce a tornado in Texas.”
Thanks to Edward Lorenz’s discovery of the butterfly effect over 60 years ago, we know that small changes can, in fact, lead to much bigger changes. Sometimes this results in dangerous situations, like COVID-19, as we all know too well. But sometimes the Butterfly effect can also change the world for the better and a single person can set it off. We know that in this chaotic world we live in, everything is connected. Capturing all of this in one book seems an impossible task, yet The Big Picture does exactly that. In a world of increasing specialism, this book, which broadly covers all fields of science, is an Olympic achievement. It convinces the reader that we can achieve more, both individually and together. If you care about the future of humanity, you can’t ignore this book.
Former Chairman & President Avans University of Applied Sciences
10-year best University of Applied Sciences of the Netherlands
The Big Picture does what it says, it paints a picture of our world in an accessible and approachable way. Major topics covered, such as sustainability, technology and societal relationships are richly illustrated, and thought has been given to the interrelatedness of each subject. The book provides many interesting glimpses into underlying patterns and connections, challenging readers to add their own insights. My hope is that this book will grow into a knowledge platform where the wisdom and insights of humanity contribute to understanding The Big Picture even further and in more depth.
PROF. DR. MARC VERMEULEN
Professor Public Strategy, Innovation and Governance (Full Professor)
TIAS, School for Business and Society and Tilburg University
We are standing at a crossroads. Will we unite to solve the challenges that we are facing? Or, will we continue on the same path until we cross the line of no return? For us to have any chance of success, we need to embrace multiple perspectives. The Big Picture takes the reader on a transformative journey. Like a shifting kaleidoscope, it allows us to discover underlying patterns and connections of the world we created. It is quite remarkable, beautiful and shocking at the same time.
PROF. DR. TONI SFIRTSIS
Professor of Strategic Innovation and Future Leadership (Associate Professor)
TIAS, School for Business and Society
A collection of stories and images that encourage readers to question the obvious, change routines and rethink the underlying concepts of our economic, social and political realms. Are we able to understand the signs of the times and to act upon them? Are we prepared to change our ways of living and co-create new narratives rooted in social, ecological, economic and cultural justice? Reading this book leaves you no choice other than to follow your own calling to contribute to a better world.
DR. GODELIEVE SPAAS
Professor of New Economy
Avans University of Applied Science
Vast in its scope … vast in its intentions. Mario van Rijn has done an excellent job at bringing to the curious lay reader an outline of a wide range of important and timely topics interspersed with thought provoking questions. While ambitious, he has succeeded in painting The Big Picture. Well done.
DR. RICHARD LUCAS
TechLauncher Program, Australian National University
The Big Picture is an impressive and immersive experience. The book takes a true connected view of the state of the world. The Big Picture shows how everything is linked -from AI to deforestation to education- and it invites the reader to explore and act in a meaningful connected way.
Author of Not Invented Here: Cross-Industry Innovation
The Big Picture is well-paced, covering a huge ground of interesting subject matters and achieves in setting out the main challenges that we and our children face going forward. It allows us to make better informed individual choices in the context of their global impact. The author has a talent for explaining complex areas/ideas clearly and succinctly—a compelling read, one that we should all have in our library. By the time you get to the end of this book, you’ll wish you hadn’t started it as if you are anything like me; you’ll feel you now have a choice to either to put your head back in the sand or to take responsibility for one’s actions and start making a difference!?! This book is what we all need to wake us from our slumber and spur us to make healthy choices for our families and the world going forward…