Today - October 17th, 2017

    Organizational Culture of FearOrganizational Culture of Fear

    Peter Block video interview with CJ Liu 

    Don't let the title turn you away. Peter and CJ's intimate conversation is profound, touching and funny. Instead of talking about Peter's book Flawless Consulting, they explore topics ranging from community and compassion, integrating who you are with what you do and outlets for pain and rage to freedom, authenticity, courage and the power of co-creation.


    The Problem with ProblemsThe Problem with Problems

    By John McKnight

    One of the reasons we may have so little productive citizen creativity at the local level is that people buy into the belief that the purpose of getting together is to deal with a problem. There is another purpose that is probably more important: engagement that mobilizes citizen creativity and contributions.


    I Saw the Revolution in So Many of the Small Places We Call HomeI Saw the Revolution in So Many of the Small Places We Call Home

    By Sarah van Gelder

    YES! Magazine co-founder Sarah van Gelder took a 12,000-mile journey to hear stories of people from around the country working to better their communities.

    Learn What's Working …
    Abundant Communities Initiative Updates ABCD Principles for MunicipalitiesAbundant Communities Initiative Updates ABCD Principles for Municipalities

    by Jennifer Neutel

    Neighborhood connections create complex benefits, people in Edmonton, Alberta have learned. Its Abundant Community Initiative is catching on, with municipalities across North America expressing interest in connecting neighbors.…

    A Happy Place to ShopA Happy Place to Shop

    by Leslie Stephen

    Sixteen years ago the only grocery store in Chester, PA closed. Today, there’s “good food right around the corner" at Fare & Square, the nation’s first nonprofit grocery store, which is making healthy food available to all and stretching customers’ dollars so they get more for their money.…

    Strangers Become Family at This Multigenerational Housing ProjectStrangers Become Family at This Multigenerational Housing Project

    by Kim Eckert

    A unique affordable-housing community supports both foster families and elders who might be looking for a few extra grandchildren. It's the proverbial village caring for everyone.…

    Nutrition and Nurture Designed for Body and SpiritNutrition and Nurture Designed for Body and Spirit

    by Prucia Buscell

    The Reverend Angel Garcia Rodriguez is a Spanish priest who is also an innovator and entrepreneur whose nonprofit enterprises are designed to nourish the body and spirit of those in need.…

    What is Possible in Re-humanizing the West?What is Possible in Re-humanizing the West?

    by Michelle Strutzenberger

    Restore Commons is a collection of compelling ideas and activism whose intent is to open our thinking about: alternative economy, alternative journalism, architecture and space that connect us, and active and missional faith communities ~ all essentials in reclaiming the common good.…

    How a Health Clinic Made a Local Grocery Store Part of Its PrescriptionHow a Health Clinic Made a Local Grocery Store Part of Its Prescription

    by Bob van Meter

    A partnership between a Boston health clinic and a local grocery shows what economic development can do when it makes community health a priority.…

    The Little Free PantryThe Little Free Pantry

    by Cat Johnson

    After a short article on the Little Free Pantry of Fayetteville, Arkansas, spread through social networks, other neighborhoods were inspired to duplicate this low-cost, direct-action approach to share surplus food and household goods.…

    Top 21 Reasons to Live in BranchTop 21 Reasons to Live in Branch

    From magnificent scenery, low taxes and crime rate, and excellent schools to fresh fish, eligible bachelors, and The Singing Kitchen, Priscilla Corcoran Mooney and her neighbors in tiny Branch, Newfoundland, charted their assets and spread the word about the power even a small community can discover.…

    Men, Better Neighbours Than Friends?Men, Better Neighbours Than Friends?

    by Sarah Arthurs

    When Howard Lawrence feels isolated, he heads outside to see who is working on fixing or building something and pitches in.…

    Apple Street MarketApple Street Market

    Video from the Cincinnati Union Co-operative Initiative shows how the city's Northside neighborhood is using community ownership to solve the problem of urban supermarket shortage.…

    The Cooperative Way to a Stronger EconomyThe Cooperative Way to a Stronger Economy

    by Sarah van Gelder

    Co-ops — just like people — can get more done together than anyone can do alone. They come in many forms, and are more common than you might imagine.…

    Stone Soup MomentsStone Soup Moments

    by Sarah Arthurs

    A simple corn chowder turns into Stone Soup, a tangible manifestation of community gifts and abundance.…

    An Introvert Cooks Dinner for 80 — and Learns Something About CommunityAn Introvert Cooks Dinner for 80 — and Learns Something About Community

    by Shannon Hayes

    Despite all her inclination to stay on the outside, to resist joining, to pull away from group work, Shannon Hayes found a place among her neighbors and learned the can-do nature of community.…

    The Great Veggie Grow Off Cultivates Strong Communities and Lots of Fresh FoodThe Great Veggie Grow Off Cultivates Strong Communities and Lots of Fresh Food

    by Leslie Stephen

    The Lanark County Food Bank in Ontario, Canada, believes in a little friendly competition, especially one like the Great Veggie Grow Off that benefits people who rely on the Food Bank to put nourishing food on their tables every day.…

    Update on the Abundant Community Initiative in EdmontonUpdate on the Abundant Community Initiative in Edmonton

    by Howard Lawrence

    Interview featuring Edmonton's ACI co-founder Howard Lawrence on the thinking and results of the two-year-old initiative to connect neighbors, face to face, one neighbor at a time.…

    Beyond the CSA: Four Ways Communities Support Everything from Books to BeerBeyond the CSA: Four Ways Communities Support Everything from Books to Beer

    by Dana Drugmand

    You know the model: Consumers purchase a share of the season’s harvest upfront and get a box of fresh produce each week from the farm. Now you can get your medicine that way too.…

    Big Dreams, Big ProgressBig Dreams, Big Progress

    by Leslie Stephen

    In Nebraska, a group of volunteers got together to do something about supporting community development in the state’s small towns. Their goal was to raise $25 million in ten years. That was in 1993. Today, the Nebraska Community Foundation and its affiliated funds have reinvested $222.7 million in Nebraska’s people and places.…

    7 Practical Ideas for Compassionate Communities, From Free College to Debt Relief7 Practical Ideas for Compassionate Communities, From Free College to Debt Relief

    by Shannan Stoll

    It's not hard to bring a little more equality into each others' lives.…

    Every Block a VillageEvery Block a Village

    by Julie Jung

    When St. Anne's Hospital closed in 1988, Jacqueline Reed knew that her community of Austin, a predominantly African-American neighborhood on Chicago's West Side, would be without easy access to affordable health care. And she decided she needed to do something about that.…

    The Invitation Conversation and the Power of The Invitation Conversation and the Power of "A Small Group" of Committed People

    by Dan Joyner

    What happened when a small group of committed people declared a possibility for Citizen Engagement in Cincinnati.…

    Three Steps to Building a Better BlockThree Steps to Building a Better Block

    by Jason Roberts

    How can we drive change in our communities and move past stagnant committees and outdated regulation? Jason Roberts of Build a Better Block encourages us to stop waiting around. Even if that means painting in our own crosswalks and blackmailing ourselves into action…

    Recent Posts
    Who Has the Skills to Build Community? We All Do

    Sarah van Gelderby Sarah van Gelder, John McKnight, Peter Block

    Transcription of John and Peter's September 12th conversation with YES! Magazine co-founder Sarah van Gelder on her 12,000-mile cross-country journey learning from people who were re-making America from the ground up and how it led to starting up a new project: PeoplesHub, an online space where communities can learn and share the skills of making powerful change.…

    Take a Leap – Take a Bold Leap

    Al Etmanskiby Al Etmanski

    The formal system not working for you? Then take a leap.…

    How Community Animators Work Around the World

    Cormac Russellby Cormac Russell, John McKnight, Peter Block

    Transcription of John and Peter's July 25th conversation with Cormac Russell on his work with communities, agencies, NGOs and governments using ABCD and other strengths-based approaches in Kenya, Rwanda, Southern Sudan, South Africa, the UK, Ireland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Canada and Australia.…

    Our 13 Staging Posts in Learning and Developmpent

    Cormac Russellby Cormac Russell

    What the community animators at UK-based consulting and research organization Nurture Development have learned in the 21 years since its founding.…

    How Community Action Shapes Health

    Deborah Puntenneyby Deborah Puntenney, Peter Block, John McKnight

    Deborah Puntenney has been a colleague of John McKnight and Jody Kretzmann at the Asset-Based Community Development Institute for 25 years. In this transcribed conversation, John and Peter talk with her about how her work focuses on engaging citizens to become effective co-producers of their own health and well-being.…

    In Search of the Tie That Binds

    John McKnightby John McKnight

    What is the tie that binds people on a block? How did most North Americans in a very short period of time become isolated in space? For people interested in collective/communal decision making, several communities in the U.S. and Canada are experimenting with ways to create ties among their citizens.…

    Seize the Opportunity of Crisis to Rebuild Community

    Jim Diersby Jim Diers

    Out of crisis, the residents of Christchurch, New Zealand discovered what is most important—community. Around the globe, multiple crises confront us. The upside is that we now have unprecedented opportunities to rebuild community.…

    The Affinity Dilemma

    John McKnightby John McKnight

    If the heart of our social problems is “like-mindedness,” the nature of associational affinity is one cause of the problem. Local examples/possibilities of “different mindedness” may be the way serious citizen dialogue can develop in relatively homogeneous places.…

    Forget Your Perfect Offering

    Al Etmanskiby Al Etmanski

    Sage advice: Stop looking for concepts or tools that might be better than the ones you currently use. Your association with frailty, vulnerability and imperfection will serve you better anything or anyone that promises certainty.…

    Withering into the Truth

    Parker J. Palmerby Parker J. Palmer

    As a present to himself in anticipation of his seventy-eighth birthday, Parker reflects on six lessons he has learned so far in his time on earth. “If one or two of them turn out to be gifts for you,” he says, “my birthday will be even happier.”…

    Five Keys to Broad and Inclusive Community Engagement

    Jim Diersby Jim Diers

    Some simple rules of engagement to build strong communities.…

    A Neighborhood Impact Statement: Changing the Burden of Proof

    John McKnightby John McKnight

    John outlines a process that a coalition of neighborhood associations might use with proposed institutional interventions to demonstrate in advance positive impacts measured against local community standards.…

    Cormac Russell on Change That Starts with Communities

    Rob Hopkinsby Rob Hopkins, Cormac Russell

    Environmental activist and writer Rob Hopkins talks with Nurture Development's Cormac Russell on community development and what happens when people come together and behave effectively in a way that’s about right relationships with each other and the place that they're in.…

    An Educating Neighborhood

    John McKnightby John McKnight

    From the premise of the African saying “It takes a village to raise a child,” John explains how largely untapped neighborhood educational assets can be activated to provide incredible learning opportunities for our children.…

    Change the Conversation, Change the Culture

    Peter Blockby Peter Block

    Video of Peter talking about the small group methodology of community engagement and his views on the restorative movement, from the International Institute for Restorative Practices 19th World Conference.…