Spaceship Earth

The Comprehensive Thinking of R. Buckminster Fuller

Collaborative comprehensivism is participating in groups to incrementally expand the breadth and depth of everyone’s understanding. An effective tool for its practice is exploring ideas from a book. Some participants may be unable to read the book. To provide them with background and to focus on the key passages to be explored at a particular event, it can be helpful to have a brief for the book. Ideally, the brief will highlight questions to guide and spur a group exploration.

To support book-based events with an example, this resource includes a synopsis of R. Buckminster Fuller’s 1969 book “Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth”. This brief is just one of many possible condensations of the book. It focuses on some of the key ideas that inspired the “Collaborating for Comprehensivism” initiative.

It is common to refer to the author of “Operating Manual” as “Bucky”. To read the book, you can find a copy from a bookseller, or read a 44 page PDF at, or read a web-based copy at Below there is section offering advice for readers of the book.

"Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth" by R. Buckminster Fuller
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Posted by CJ Fearnley in Resource Center, 4 comments

The Necessities and Impossibilities of Comprehensivism

If comprehensivism is the process of making sense of it all and of each other, is it even possible? Even if it is impossible, is it necessary that we pursue as many comprehensive comprehensions as we can muster? How can we reconcile the necessities and impossibilities of comprehensivism?

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Posted by CJ Fearnley in Resource Center, 0 comments