Reviews for The Great Growing Up


I’ve spent nearly 20 years working with ideas about advancing sustainability, understanding and peace, and have bookshelves groaning with great books. The Great Growing Up is an absolute peach – it’s packed with some of the best thinking this century has to offer about how to secure our future. The book is easy to read and will feed anybody with a hunger for change. Thought provoking, practical and inspiring. It’s skipped straight to the top of my ‘recommend to others’ list, which is why I’ve written something here….!

Mr M J ZeidlerAmazon Review

John is an amazing human being and this is his magnum opus.

It is a witty and delightful book that is a manual for our adulthood as a species.

Read it and you will be enlightened in a new and distinct way that can lead you on to a path that is a must to explore.

Bill LiaoAmazon Review

Over the top insightful. Author, John Renesch, is about as prescient as they come. ‘Ah ha moments’ on almost every page. A must read if you really want to get a bit of information on a lot that is going on right now from societal intelligence, transformative learning, collective wisdom, conscious leadership and group potential to technologically mediated relationships, adult immaturity and the third parent phenomenon. The breadth is wonderfully stimulating and eye-opening

Janice CailletAmazon Review

In “The Great Growing Up” John Renesch has provided a clarion call to “take history by the throat” and “create a future for all the world”. This very clear, concise and easy to read book provides overwhelming evidence for humanities current stage of development, the resulting collapse of our global systems and a road map for an urgent and much needed resolution.

Thomas L. EddingtonAmazon Review

John Renesch has, with great clarity and foresight, described the present state of our world and what is necessary and possible to create a future that will ensure a healthy planet capable of sustaining all life here. He has managed to reach into the heart of challenges that face all of us today, challenges that we ourselves have created and for which we have responsibility for finding answers. Mr. Renesch has eloquently described the problems we now face as we move into the coming years and has provided doorways to solutions for those willing to walk through, ultimately creating a new and different reality for our future. I recommend this book to everyone who dreams of a better world.

Jeanne PehrsonAmazon Review

John has touched on a subject which is tantamount to creating a more just, sustainable and fulfilling world. The theme, his prose, and the content provides new ways of seeing the world, challenging our beliefs and enabling new paradigms. I highly recommend it! Well done John!

Mike AnsonAmazon Review

We live in a world of microcosms. People get Ph.D’s by focusing on a sliver of a narrow topic and claiming it as their own. My hat goes off to visionary futurist John Renesch, who with The Great Growing Up has gone galloping in the opposite direction. This is a high-level, macrocosmic, big-picture book. It summarizes and pulls together meta-trends, drawing on the wisdom of numerous big thinkers in the process. Through this intelligent aggregating process, Renesch helps us see the forest that so many of us miss so often for the trees.

Renesch’s book is courageous because it takes chutzpah to take such a high-level view of things: it doesn’t earn you points in the marketplace or, unless you’ve got an endowed chair at a university, in the world of ideas. Yet his is a crucially important undertaking, in no small measure because when we climb the mountain and take the broad view, what emerges is the potential for a positive future that contradicts the depressing certainties of the fatalists and catastrophists whose views rule the media roost these days. This is why I call the book “inspiring.”

As for “provocative,” that’s because Renesch challenges us over and over again to re-visit our baseline assumptions. (Thanks, John, I needed that!)

With this book, John Renesch has done us, and the world, an important service.

C. DamonAmazon Review

This is a great book! It is easy-to-read, engaging and, at times, amusing. John Renesch has captured the essence and magnitude of the choices of our awakening consciousness and what it means for humanity.

I am very grateful for the breadth and depth of concepts and topics covered, reflecting where we have been and clearly lays out the context for the future. John makes the distinctions and offers a lens for our choices without introducing the polarities of dogmas. He issues an invitation for how each of us can move forward with a sense of an expansive hope and profound responsibility.

This is a must-read for everyone and I wholeheartedly recommend it as mandatory reading for every executive and elected official. It makes for an outstanding catalyst for discussion and dialogue in a wide variety of settings: meetings, retreats, conferences and facilitated peer groups such as Vistage. If you are a leader or work with leaders, it is incumbent on us to be informed and to make conscious choices. This book lays the ground and framework for us to do just that: It provides the context, a comprehensive worldview, for what it means to be a leader and take action. So if you are disillusioned about our ability to lead and wondering “what’s it all about?” and “how can I make a real and lasting difference?”, this book is for you.

Parents and teachers take note: I also highly recommend it to broaden the perspectives of young people and it would make an outstanding contribution to social studies/sociology classes at the high school and college levels.

Here are a few of the comprehensive content areas that I particularly appreciated:

* The relevance today for the tenets and values that are the root cause of the founding of the United States and that their true meaning has been lost.
* The critical interdependence of all aspects of our human experience: business, government and personal development that we tend to ignore.
* How we each make a contribution to the state of the world whether we lead, follow or get out of the way.

Finally, I have wanted a book to share my world-view with my 88 year-old mother who experienced the Great Depression and WWII and worked and raised us through the massive social changes of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. This is it. She is getting a copy for Mother’s Day. John Renesch, thank you for this gift.

Lucira Jane NebelungAmazon Review

The real drama of this special instant in our evolution as a species won’t be found in nightly newscasts or newspaper headlines. The real drama requires a master in the art of the long view — in both directions. John is a great story teller. And there is no more important story than the one we’re creating together.

We need a rite of passage as a species. John’s book feels like it’s serving an important role by his discerning witnessing of our passage while we’re in the middle of that process.

Congratulations, John. A great piece of work.

Bill Veltrop "Evolutionary Architect"Amazon Review

John Renesch is an optimist. His view of a world possible and his on-target assessment of what it will take to get us there inspires. In the voice of the elder of the tribe (who doesn’t take himself too seriously), John connects us to the hope that is necessary to help us get there. In a time when the “blame game” and “it’s everyone else’s responsibility” seem to be a daily mantra in our society, John challenges us to understand and, yes, take responsibility for creating and shaping the future, by knowing ourselves and living up to our own potential. The challenges facing our global village and the planet can overwhelm. It is tempting to believe that one person will not make a difference. In this book, John offers the “how” in how can I make a difference? And it starts with looking in the mirror. If we are lucky, we reach a point in our life when we know and decide that our adolescent excuses no longer apply. Its time for our collective to decide this, too. The only way to get there starts with you and me. The Great Growing Up empowers. It challenges us to get over ourselves and get on with it. Way to go John! You’ve given us the opportunity to turn and face what is and the how to do something about it. Bravo! – Cheryl Esposito, author of In the Spirit of Leadership: A Vision Into A Different Future and founder Alexsa Consulting, an Executive Coaching & Consulting firm.

Cheryl EspositoAmazon Review

This book really nails it; we have been behaving lie adolescents and the future of the planet hangs in balance.

John’s plea is for us to wake up and grow up. This book is witty, cogent and very much a persuasive piece on creating a positive future!

David K. Banner "" Amazon Review

I have had the privilege of meeting many of our most renowned 21st Century conscious leaders. If I have not met them, I have certainly read their work. John Renesch’s new book is by far, one of the best explanations of where we’ve been as a society and where we need to go I’ve seen to date. If you care about our world…if you are in business and know it is time to “step up” your leadership capabilities, run to buy this book. I am certainly glad I followed my own advice!

Debbie RobinsAmazon Review

John has done us all a great service. He has combed what’s been written and observed where we stand. Most important, he shares a vision of what’s possible IF and what’s likely if we don’t. It’s not a book of doom although you could take that as a key message. It’s a book of hope and inspiration for those troubled by what they sense and searching for some things they might do.

I think this is an important book that needed to be written. Thank you John!

Stewart Levine "Lawyer, Author, Change Agent"Amazon Review

I just finished your book and wanted to say WOW! I have been wanting a book like this for so long. I find myself often talking with friends about the ideas and concepts you include here, but with much less specificity…for instance, the factors that shape our current reality and the facts surrounding our adolescent society. Great points you are making here. And all the detail you present in the chapter on the Power of Consciousness…the breadth of the research you include here (as well as in the entire book) is powerful. I also love the quotes you’ve used…all are so salient and to the point. And, by the end, I wanted to stand up and cheer at the ultimate message of the book. We CAN change this, we know how, and we begin where we are standing (as an indigenous leader once said).

I was very touched that you gifted me with the book, and I am delighted to have read it so that I can share it with others. It is revolutionary. No accident that you reference Thomas Paine’s Common Sense here. This book could be a 21st century version of that.

Marilyn FowlerOutgoing chair of the Consciousness Studies Program at JFK University

An invitation to participate in an enhanced future for the human species, John Renesch’s The Great Growing Up presents frightening evidence of the myths and trends propelling us down our current unsustainable path backed by an eloquent and inspirational vision for achievement of the shared peace, prosperity, and fulfillment that is the promise of all humankind, should we all only have the guts to overcome our fears, embrace meaningful change, and stand our ground.

Darrell J. BrownVice-Chairman and Editor, Leaders Magazine

Humanity is bound to live soon through either a breakdown or a breakthrough on an unprecedented scale. The Great Growing Up explores how we can improve the chances for the breakthrough.

Bernard LietaerFuture of Money: Creating New Wealth, Work and a Wiser World

John Renesch is not only a smart man, but also a wise one. The Great Growing Up offers a conscious choice for the kind of future we want to create and the role we each want to play in bringing it about. Don’t just read this book–do it!

Alan M. Webbercofounder, Fast Company magazine

With so many of us struggling, we all need a vision of hope that looks at life, business and the dark side of human behavior right in the eye. That’s what John Renesch does in this provocative, comprehensive guide to the future — and our role in constructing it.

Patricia Aburdeneauthor, Megatrends 2010: The Rise of Conscious Capitalism

An inspiring, visionary book detailing both the dangers and the opportunities before us, John Renesch persuasively shows how, despite the turmoil of our times, we can collectively rise to the occasion and create the society that we all know in our hearts is possible.

Peter Russellauthor of The Global Brain, Waking Up in Time, and other books

John Renesch, renowned futurist and prolific author, has written a deeply provocative book to inspire the evolution of a new humanity. The Great Growing Up brilliantly captures the critical importance of the present moment and outlines a trajectory for achieving a mature, peaceful future for all. John¹s roadmap to our collective future is clear, compelling, and transformative. His new book is important and empowering. I highly recommend it.

Lynne Twistco-founder, The Pachamama Alliance

Inspiring, practical and thought provoking . . . The Great Growing Up challenges each of us to develop and stretch our capacities to generate a global reality that secures a preferred future ‘that works for everyone’.

Angeles ArrienPh.D., cultural anthropologist, author: The Four-Fold Way and Second Half of Life

The Great Growing Up gives us vital and wise guidelines to the unprecedented emergence of ourselves as cocreators of our world. It is an important work for our own conscious evolution, self and social.

Barbara Marx Hubbardfounder, Foundation for Conscious Evolution

John’s thinking and work about the direction we humans have to take is both challenging and timely. In The Great Growing Up we are given authentic hope. This book provides both an analysis and template for deep contemplation and action.

Alireza HejaziWorld Future Society

Book review by the World Future Society “Are We Enough Conscious for Future?” 
Like a master painter, John Renesch provides a broad interpretive mural of the last half-century along with a sweeping and sense-making depiction of how humankind has encumbered itself with less than a fully human milieu. But he does not leave us in stoicism or anomie. He encourages hope that we can rebuild our future through new forms of conscious leadership. One is left with both an understanding of our past and a renewed sense of mission regarding a future on which mankind’s very survival depends.

Andre L. Delbecq, J. Thomas and Kathleen L. McCarthy University ProfessorSanta Clara University

John Renesch is a Renaissance Man who lives in the twenty-first century. In The Great Growing Up he shows how, through conscious evolution, we can put our predatory past behind us and create a dignitarian world. Prophetic yet practical, The Great Growing Up integrates science, philosophy, spirituality, and psychology into a compelling vision of a world that will work for everyone.

Robert W. Fuller, former presidentOberlin College, author: All Rise: Somebodies, Nobodies, and the Politics of Dignity

This book is about the art of the possible despite all odds in these turbulent times. It is a manifesto for all of us as humans to lead rather than follow our own evolution.

Mark ThompsonBestselling coauthor: Success Built to Last

In his new book – The Great Growing Up – John Renesch challenges us with authority, humanity, energy and optimism, to address the key issues facing society today, both globally and personally – and these two dimensions are closely linked. It is full of valuable insights, as well as being a call to action. These messages need urgent attention if we are to survive this century, let alone see a better world in the years ahead. Time is not on our side.

Bruce LloydEmeritus Professor of Strategic Management, London South Bank University

Ever the optimistic realist, John Renesch makes clear from the beginning that The Great Growing Up intends to make us uncomfortable with the lies we tell ourselves about our world and our place in it. In debunking the myths that we think guide us, John offers a transformative manifesto of what is possible for humanity with the emphasis on “human.” But this is not new age mumbo jumbo; John’s background in business and the physical sciences is evident throughout. Read this book and share it.

James A. Autryauthor: The Servant Leader, and Looking Around for God

In The Great Growing Up, John Renesch meticulously describes today’s dysfunctional societies and the dissatisfactions they have created. However, a well-functioning society is possible through ‘conscious evolution,’ the use of human intention to create alternative money systems, transformative learning, gender parity, energy independence, and a host of other paradigm changes. The Great Growing Up contains a vivid description of contemporary society that is as accurate as it is depressing; however, Renesch gives his readers a ‘Great Dream’ for the future that is rooted in the writings of the founders of the United States, yet rebooted for the tattered world of the 21st century . . . a splendid book.

Stanley KrippnerPh.D., Professor of Psychology, Saybrook University, co-author: Personal Mythology

In The Great Growing Up John Renesch has brought together an impressive range of sources to provide a readable overview of our prospects for a renewed civilization. He manages to capture the essence of many concepts and ideas and to make them accessible. You don’t need a Ph.D. to read this book – merely an open mind and a willing spirit.

Richard Slaughterfuturist, Foresight International, Brisbane, Australia

This is a beautiful easy-to-read book. Renesch weaves together the external and inner challenges humanity faces – ageing, inequity, gender imbalances, spiritual poverty, lack of reflection – and provides us with solutions forward. Humanity is like an adolescent, the transition to adulthood is not always easy, but through the work of John Renesch we are given an exploratory map on how this could be possible, and even more important, his book provides us with a pause, a time to reflect, on how each one of us can play a role in the transformation ahead, now.

Professor Sohail InayatullahTamkang University, Taiwan and the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia

The American Dream is under siege instead of being seized and society is at a significant crossroads. The Great Growing Up not only warns us of the destructive path our world is heading down, it provides a vision for a brighter, better future that our children can inherit. The good news is that we are still in control: we each can make a difference and John Renesch shows us how.

Brian FeinblumPlanned Television Arts, Chief Marketing Officer, VP

John Renesch challenges us to examine where we are in our evolution and squarely face the challenges confronting us as a species. Then he offers us the opportunity to transcend our conditions and engage in a global transformation of epic proportions. Will we squander this opportunity or act on it? Provocative, engaging and, most importantly, essential to the conscious evolution of humankind.

Ken DychtwaldPh.D., best-selling author of sixteen books, including With Purpose: From Success to Significance in Work and Life

I welcome this important book which maps the unprecedented challenges and opportunities for humanity in this era. John Renesch, as always, is an expert guide to this phase of human development and he lays out our options with deep understanding and compassion.

Hazel HendersonPresident, Ethical Markets Media (USA and Brazil), author of Ethical Markets: Growing The Green Economy, and Beyond Globalization

Once again, John Renesch gives us the benefit of his accumulated wisdom and experience with The Great Growing Up. He points the way to a new vision of infinite possibilities, which is available to everyone. If you’re interested in changing the world for the better, then The Great Growing Up is a must read. You’ll be glad you did!

Michael TomsFounding President, New Dimensions Radio; author of the bestselling An Open Life: Joseph Campbell in Conversation with Michael Toms, and True Work: Doing What You Love and Loving What You Do

In The Great Growing Up John Renesch has brought together an impressive range of sources to provide a readable overview of our prospects for a renewed civilization. He manages to capture the essence of many concepts and ideas and to make them accessible. You don’t need a Ph.D. to read this book – merely an open mind and a willing spirit.

Pat LynchFounder and CEO, Women's Online Media and Education Network

The Great Growing Up invites you into inspiring, big-picture vision of a world healed by changes in how we think, work, and live as individuals. John Renesch stands with you before the mirror of time to examine what we have created through our sometimes unconscious, careless freedoms. He plants seeds of change in the process, creating a space for you to discover a deeper sense of contribution through your own personal transformation into The Great Growing Up the world badly needs.

Debbe Kennedyfounder, Global Dialogue Center and Leadership Solutions Companies; author, Putting Our Differences to Work: The Fastest Way to Innovation, Leadership, and High Performance

In his new book, John Renesch makes an insightful and honest assessment of our past and maps the way forward for us as a society and individuals. His call to action is both critical and timely, empowering each of us to create the world we can be proud of – unified, just and profoundly human. The wealth of information and wisdom that is contained in this book is amazing.

Julia Balandina JaquierPh.D., Head of Sustainable Investment Group, AIG Investments, Zurich

A powerful visionary beacon for our evolving humanity. John Renesch shows us how to be the change we would like to see – in humanity.

Debashis Chowdhuryauthor: In Our Own Image – Humanity's Quest for Divinity via Technology

The Great Growing Up is packed with some of the best thinking this century has to offer about how to secure our future. The book is easy to read and will feed anybody with a hunger for change. Thought provoking, practical and inspiring.

ike Zeidlerfounder, Association of Sustainability Practitioners, London

Have you ever wondered whether our planet is engaged in some epic transition to a better society? One where individuals, due to massive new technological and social interdependences, come to see themselves as part of a single integrated ‘organism’ or ‘global brain,’ as well as free, individual moral actors? Teilhard de Chardin called this coming event ‘Planetization’ and some foresight scholars see it as part of the natural developmental future of Earth. If we are to responsibly integrate our incredible new powers for self- and environmental change, and protect against ongoing environmental degradation and destruction, such a consciousness shift must occur. Read this sublime book, and start being the change yourself, every day. You’ll find very few routes to deeper universal insight, peace and happiness that are as direct and valuable as this book.

John SmartPresident, Acceleration Studies Foundation

In The Great Growing Up, John Renesch has given us an astute dianosis of what ails us as individuals and as a global community. He then gives us a prescription for treatment. But rather than a bitter pill to swallow, we have a recipe filled with hope for a renewed spirit.

Gregg MagranePh.D., geneticist, University of California San Francisco

John Renesch has been a pioneer and visionary in the search for human values based on reciprocity and relationship rather than self interest and dominance. His search has led him to the threshold of a new awareness that he aptly calls The Great Growing Up. His book is an invitation to cross that threshold and together remake the world.

lan Briskinauthor: The Stirring of Soul in the Workplace, and coauthor: The Power of Collective Wisdom