Observation & Listening: a talk with Christian Madsbjerg, founder of ReD Associates


Location: Burr Hall, Room 219

Speaker: Christian Madsbjerg


Important ideas often come from observing and listening rather than talking, brainstorming, and passing judgment.  Though looking rather than thinking may be the most direct way to understand others (and, perhaps, even come up with ways to be helpful), the worst observers are often social scientists, who all too often make up their mind about something before they even start observing. Though true observation without preconceived notions and presuppositions is not easy, it is a learned skill that can be practiced. In this lecture, we will cover the philosophical background of the power of observation by looking at the work of early Martin Heidegger, late Ludvig Wittgenstein, and William James. We will use the example of J.A. Baker's masterful “The Peregrine” to see what great observation looks like. It should be fun. 

For the past 20 years, Christian Madsbjerg has worked as a management consultant. He writes, speaks, and teaches on the practical application of the Human Sciences and his work has been featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The Washington Post, Der Spiegel, and Bloomberg Businessweek. His latest book, Sensemaking: The Power of the Humanities in the Age of the Algorithm, was released in the spring of 2017 by Hachette Book Group. His book Moment of Clarity, co-written with Mikkel Rasmussen and published in the fall of 2014, has been published in 15+ languages. Christian studied philosophy and political science in Copenhagen and London and has a Masters from the University of London.

RSVP: bjarvie@princeton.edu