Friends and Neighbors

Commentary and blog posts by friends, neighbors and other contributors

How Community Animators Work Around the World
How Community Animators Work Around the World

by Cormac Russell, John McKnight, Peter Block on July 30, 2017 ()

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.… read more »

Our 13 Staging Posts in Learning and Developmpent
Our 13 Staging Posts in Learning and Developmpent

by Cormac Russell on July 15, 2017 ()

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

How Community Action Shapes Health
How Community Action Shapes Health

by Deborah Puntenney, Peter Block, John McKnight on June 27, 2017 ()

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.… read more »

Seize the Opportunity of Crisis to Rebuild Community
Seize the Opportunity of Crisis to Rebuild Community

by Jim Diers on June 5, 2017 ()

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.… read more »

Forget Your Perfect Offering
Forget Your Perfect Offering

by Al Etmanski on April 27, 2017 ()

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.… read more »

Withering into the Truth
Withering into the Truth

by Parker J. Palmer on March 28, 2017 ()

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.”… read more »

Five Keys to Broad and Inclusive Community Engagement
Five Keys to Broad and Inclusive Community Engagement

by Jim Diers on March 22, 2017 ()

Some simple rules of engagement to build strong communities.… read more »

Tough Love
Tough Love

by Al Etmanski on February 13, 2017 ()

A Valentine’s essay for all the caring change-makers out there, especially those whose efforts are ignored or misunderstood.… read more »

Cormac Russell on Change That Starts with Communities
Cormac Russell on Change That Starts with Communities

by Rob Hopkins, Cormac Russell on February 10, 2017 ()

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.… read more »

Are We There Yet?
Are We There Yet?

by Sarah Arthurs on September 9, 2016 ()

John explores two underlying questions raised by his recent book, co-authored with Peter Block and Walter Brueggemann: How will we know when we have departed the consumer culture? and How will we know we have arrived?… read more »

Change Thoughts about Money, Change the World!
Change Thoughts about Money, Change the World!

by Robert H. Thompson, Tim Soerens and Kevin Jones on July 11, 2016 ()

Robert H. Thompson of leaderinsideout.com talks with Tim Soerens and Kevin Jones, founders of the SOCAP (Social Capital Markets) Conference, about money and how it is not working for us in a way that creates the kind of lives we want to be living.… read more »

Sustainable Community Development: From What's Wrong to What's Strong
Sustainable Community Development: From What's Wrong to What's Strong

by Cormac Russell on June 8, 2016 ()

How can we help people to live a good life? Instead of trying to right what's wrong within a community, Cormac argues in this video of his TEDxExeter talk that we need to start with what's strong. We need to help people discover what gifts they have and to use those gifts to enrich those around them.… read more »

Eight Questions for Thinking and Acting Like a Movement
Eight Questions for Thinking and Acting Like a Movement

by Al Etmanski on June 1, 2016 ()

Movements open our hearts and minds. They create the favorable political conditions for legislative change, resource allocation and policy shifts that lead to profound social change.… read more »

More with Professor Adam Clark
More with Professor Adam Clark

by Adam Clark on May 31, 2016 ()

Xavier University theologian Adam Clark talks about today’s form of slavery and how, in addition to protest, we need to turn towards something paralleling the beloved community of the sixties. He also talks about how consumerism has become our modern religion and what justice looks like in terms of different social, economic and political arrangements.… read more »

Jubilee - Professor Adam Clark
Jubilee - Professor Adam Clark

by Adam Clark on May 30, 2016 ()

Xavier University theologian Adam Clark explains the idea of Jubilee and how it brings us to the intersection of the bible and economics.… read more »

Neighbors As Citizens Making Democracy Work
Neighbors As Citizens Making Democracy Work

by David Mathews, John McKnight, Peter Block on May 9, 2016 ()

Transcribed highlights from John and Peter's conversation with Kettering Foundation president and CEO David Mathews on the role of citizens in making democracy work as it should. For more than three decades, David has led the Foundation’s work with communities and institutions from the citizen's perspective: "We trade what we have learned for what they are learning, and both benefit.”… read more »

Abundant Community Edmonton
Abundant Community Edmonton

by Howard Lawrence, Anne Harvey, John McKnight, Peter Block on March 30, 2016 ()

John and Peter join Howard Lawrence and Anne Harvey to talk about the unique framework they developed in Edmonton to create more connected and capable neighborhoods.… read more »

Peter Block, Walter Brueggemann and John McKnight in Conversation
Peter Block, Walter Brueggemann and John McKnight in Conversation

by Peter Block, Walter Brueggemann, John McKnight on March 23, 2016 ()

Transcript of Peter, Walter and John's wide-ranging conversation on March 8, 2016 inspired by their new book, "An Other Kingdom: Departing the Consumer Culture," moderated by Peter Pula and Michelle Strutzenberger of Axiom News.… read more »

Signs of the Times
Signs of the Times

by John McKnight, Walter Brueggemann, Peter Block on February 29, 2016 ()

An excerpt from "An Other Kingdom: Departing the Consumer Culture," the latest book by Peter Block, Walter Brueggemann and John McKnight.… read more »

The Ecology of Democracy: Five Questions That Aren't Usually Asked
The Ecology of Democracy: Five Questions That Aren't Usually Asked

by David Mathews on February 9, 2016 ()

Video with Kettering Foundation president and CEO David Mathews explaining how people and communities can get greater control over their collective future. One way to do this is to ask questions that will reveal new possibilities for acting together on shared problems. Here Mathews talks about five of these questions and why they are seldom asked.… read more »

For Communities to Work
For Communities to Work

by David Mathews on February 8, 2016 ()

Politics is not simply passing legislation and electing representatives. It is about creating opportunities for citizens to make choices together on the issues that concern them most. Changing the way people talk can change the way they relate to each other and to their problems — and that can eventually change the community.… read more »

From Subject to Citizen
From Subject to Citizen

by The Kettering Foundation on February 8, 2016 ()

In an early draft of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote a word and then carefully expunged it, smearing the ink and overwriting it so as to completely obliterate the original. Using spectral imaging technology in 2010, Library of Congress researchers revealed that Jefferson had changed the word “subjects” to “citizens,” revealing an important shift in the Founders' thinking: the people's allegiance was to one another, not to a distant king.… read more »

The Creation of Politics
The Creation of Politics

by The Kettering Foundation on February 8, 2016 ()

An animated archetypal flood story that imagines how politics was first created. It counters the idea that public deliberation is some kind of new technique to be used on communities and encourages a notion of democracy that is citizen-centered.… read more »

12 Thoughts on Inclusive Community Building for 2016
12 Thoughts on Inclusive Community Building for 2016

by Cormac Russell on January 18, 2016 ()

Reflections for the year ahead on community building the ABCD way… read more »

Being Alive
Being Alive

by Michelle Long on December 1, 2015 ()

BALLE Executive Director Michelle Long answers the question “If you had five minutes to convey what being alive means to you, what would you say?”… read more »

Strategies for a New Economy

by Michelle Long on December 1, 2015 ()

BALLE Executive Director Michelle Long speaks about the importance of investing in local business to advance the New Economy Movement… read more »

Encyclopedia House
Encyclopedia House

by Al Etmanski on November 30, 2015 ()

Only when we know the gifts living in our own communities and understand what we are already doing will we understand what we are capable of.… read more »

10 Ways to Become More Grateful
10 Ways to Become More Grateful

by Robert A. Emmons on November 23, 2015 ()

Everyday tips for living a life of gratitude from the world's leading scientific expert on the subject.… read more »

The Economics of Compassion: Can This City Wipe Out Debt by 2019?
The Economics of Compassion: Can This City Wipe Out Debt by 2019?

by Sarah van Gelder, Walter Brueggemann on November 16, 2015 ()

A "Jubilee" initiative in Cincinnati aims to wipe out the debts of the city's poorest people. Theologian Walter Brueggemann explains the idea's biblical foundations.… read more »

New Scoop Interviews Member Peter Block
New Scoop Interviews Member Peter Block

by Sarah Arthurs, Peter Block on November 6, 2015 ()

Calgary news coop co-founder Sarah Arthurs interviews Peter on the role generative journalism plays in community transformation.… read more »

John McKnight: What I Have Learned So Far

by Philip Booth on October 21, 2015 ()

John reflects on ABCD's history, practice and future in his keynote address at the 2015 ABCD Festival held in Blackpool, England, to mark the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Asset Based Community Development Institute.… read more »

A Place at the Table
A Place at the Table

by Edd Conboy, John McKnight, Peter Block on August 27, 2015 ()

No lines ... no meal tickets ... no clothes piled on tables to pick through. These are just a couple of the "radical hospitality" ideas John and Peter talk about with Edd Conboy of Philadelphia's Broad Street Ministry in these transcribed highlights of their August 8, 2015 conversation.… read more »

A River Runs through John
A River Runs through John

by Al Etmanski on August 13, 2015 ()

Cormac Russell's new book, Looking Back to Look Forward, is the river running through John McKnight. It reminds us that when we are in flow, our activities and those of others, past and future merge into one. The world is made fresh and we are no longer as alone as we thought.… read more »

Giving In to Joy
Giving In to Joy

by Jeannie Masterson, John McKnight, Edd Conboy on August 10, 2015 ()

John and Peter’s recent online/dial-up conversation with Edd Conboy inspired a thought-provoking email exchange with Jeannie Masterson on scarcity, gifts, joy and abundance. Enjoy!… read more »

Innovation Is Birthed from Disorder
Innovation Is Birthed from Disorder

by Al Etmanski on August 10, 2015 ()

When your experience compels you to seek something different and your intuition beckons you off the beaten track in your quest to make the world better, be wary of voices that try to bring intellectual order to your exploration too soon.… read more »

5 Ways Science Says Kindness Will Change Your Life
5 Ways Science Says Kindness Will Change Your Life

by Birju Pandya on August 4, 2015 ()

Is kindness just an individual virtue, or does it have real relevance in building strong communities? As more and more people seek a satisfying communal life, they are discovering the value of committing to kindness in the world.… read more »

Ruston Seaman in Conversation with John McKnight
Ruston Seaman in Conversation with John McKnight

by Peter Koestenbaum on July 28, 2015 ()

Philosopher Peter Koestenbaum comments on the "deeply touching and intensely relevant conversation on faith" during John's June 2, 2015 “on-­line interchange” with Ruston Seaman.… read more »

Looking Back to Look Forward: The Intellectual Heritage of Asset-Based Community Development
Looking Back to Look Forward: The Intellectual Heritage of Asset-Based Community Development

by Cormac Russell on July 14, 2015 ()

In June 2015 ABCD Europe marked the 20th anniversary of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute by bringing together people from around the world who have fostered place-based, citizen-led, and asset-based social movements.That week Festival Convenor and ABCD Europe Co-Director Cormac Russell also launched his new book in which he and John McKnight explore ABCD's intellectual heritage over the last forty years.… read more »

Timebanking Rich in Possibilities
Timebanking Rich in Possibilities

by Michelle Strutzenberger on June 17, 2015 ()

John's recent conversation with New Vision Renewable Energy's Ruston Seaman led to a reflection on meeting Edgar Cahn for the first time and seeing how timebanking provides a structure for mobilizing people to use their assets and gifts for the common, local good.… read more »

Jane Jacobs: A Woman Ahead of Her Time
Jane Jacobs: A Woman Ahead of Her Time

by David Bolllier on June 3, 2015 ()

Jane Jacobs understood that community is not an abstract design principle; it’s an everyday experience. Community is not rational and orderly, but dynamic and relational.… read more »

Take a Walk on the Jane Side
Take a Walk on the Jane Side

by Jay Walljasper on June 3, 2015 ()

Celebrate the season with an exploration of your neighborhood in honor of community champion Jane Jacobs… read more »

Social Innovation: A Definition of Opportunity
Social Innovation: A Definition of Opportunity

by Al Etmanski on May 11, 2015 ()

When asked recently to define social innovation Etmanski replied rather off-handedly that it’s a combination of the old, the new and the surprising. Not much of a definition, he says, but then again the ambiguity might be useful.… read more »

The Redemption of Silicon Valley
The Redemption of Silicon Valley

by Peter Koestenbaum on May 8, 2015 ()

The May 5 memorial service for Survey Monkey CEO David Goldberg could be the beginning of a cry heard everywhere.… read more »

Replace the Gospel of Money: An Interview With David Korten
Replace the Gospel of Money: An Interview With David Korten

by Dean Paton on April 7, 2015 ()

What if we measured wealth in terms of life, and how well we serve it?… read more »

Working in the Gap
Working in the Gap

by Deb Wisniewski, Tom Mosgaller, Dan Duncan on March 24, 2015 ()

People working in the “gap” -- the space between communities, neighborhoods and institutions -- are changing institutional policies and practices to enhance local citizen productivity.… read more »

John McKnight: Community and Its Counterfeits
John McKnight: Community and Its Counterfeits

by David Cayley on March 8, 2015 ()

Three-part series of interviews with John laying out his thoughts on how community is made and unmade became one of the most popular and widely appreciated programs Cayley ever broadcast for CBC Radio.… read more »

Out of the Box Prize 2015
Out of the Box Prize 2015

by Bill Berkowitz, Ph.D. on March 3, 2015 ()

The Community Tool Box is celebrating its 20th anniversary by hosting an Out of the Box Prize to honor innovative and promising approaches to promoting community health and development happening in communities worldwide. The Grand Prize winner will receive $5,000 USD.… read more »

Interview with John McKnight
Interview with John McKnight

by Faith & Leadership on March 1, 2015 ()

In an interview with Duke University's Faith & Leadership, John reflects on the genesis of asset-based community development and the role the church can play in helping people identify and leverage their strengths to empower their communities.… read more »

Next to Last Things
Next to Last Things

by Daniel Grego on February 13, 2015 ()

Each moment is a gift… read more »

One-Room School and Reclaiming Economic Sovereignty
One-Room School and Reclaiming Economic Sovereignty

by Cormac Russell, John McKnight, Peter Block on February 9, 2015 ()

What does a one-room schoolhouse in Michigan have to do with Greece, Europe, Democracy and the now floundering economic globalization experiment?… read more »

From Sharing Economy to Gift Ecology
From Sharing Economy to Gift Ecology

by Nipun Mehta on January 23, 2015 ()

Technology advances and a consumer-based world have created a "sharing economy," where it becomes easy to commoditize things that were typically offered as gifts. Consider the difference between offering your neighbor a lift to the airport, and using Uber to find a stranger whom you will pay for a ride. The alternative is to transform our world from one of "sharing economies" to one full of "gift ecologies."… read more »

Turn Up Your Dream Switch
Turn Up Your Dream Switch

by Jeff Yost, Nebraska Community Foundation on January 5, 2015 ()

Through a growing network of ambitious people, Nebraska Community Foundation uses shared ideas, resources and experiences to help local leaders unleash the abundant assets and talents within their own place. In other words, they help hometowns turn up their dream switch.… read more »

Let’s Measure What Matters to Well-Being
Let’s Measure What Matters to Well-Being

by Mark Anielski on December 2, 2014 ()

Changing the way we measure and manage our progress should be focused on a well-being-bottom-line going beyond the current short-term focus on GDP and quarterly profits. After all, life is more than simply making money. It’s about living a life of purpose and meaning; feeling a sense of flourishing, joy and hope.… read more »

Measuring What Matters
Measuring What Matters

by Mark Anielski on November 30, 2014 ()

Pioneering economist Mark Anielski outlines the pitfalls of relying on gross domestic product (GDP) as a measure of societal wealth. Instead, we need to measure the things that matter most to us to really understand how we're doing.… read more »

Conscious Simplicity
Conscious Simplicity

by Duane Elgin on October 21, 2014 ()

Today's world requires far more than crude or cosmetic changes in our manner of living. Simplicity is not an alternative lifestyle for a marginal few, but rather a creative choice for the mainstream majority to change our overall levels and patterns of living and consuming.… read more »

Community Health Vital for Healthy People
Community Health Vital for Healthy People

by Prucia Buscell on September 4, 2014 ()

A look into the State of Oregon's experiments in spending healthcare money on care coordination and community health as a way of preventing expensive emergency care.… read more »

Class Warfare on Earth and in Heaven
Class Warfare on Earth and in Heaven

by Walter Brueggemann on July 8, 2014 ()

The term “class warfare” today is used in many ways: to describe the power dynamics of politics and economics, to refer to any resistance by the “have-nots” that calls attention to inequity, and to refer to the ways the “haves” keep the “have-nots” powerless and resourceless. These tensions are reflected throughout the Bible, and it is crucial to understand them to read the Book knowingly and advocate for social justice in our communities.… read more »

The Scarcity Narrative
The Scarcity Narrative

by Walter Brueggemann on July 7, 2014 ()

World-renowned Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann's off-the-cuff observations on how the Scarcity Narrative pervades individual and community life. Video running time: 00:01:50… read more »

Community Building and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Community Building and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

by Cormac Russell on July 1, 2014 ()

How Ivan Illich's classic "Deschooling Society," Robert Pirsig's "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" and a group called Bikers Against Child Abuse inspire community building.… read more »

In Memory of Angeles Arrien
In Memory of Angeles Arrien

May 24, 2014 ()

Wisdom shared by Angeles Arrien at last April's Connecting4Community gathering in Cincinnati.… read more »

How 32,000 Neighborhoods Use Nextdoor to Share with Neighbors
How 32,000 Neighborhoods Use Nextdoor to Share with Neighbors

by Ed Everett on May 5, 2014 ()

When you live in a place connected with the Nextdoor network, it’s easy and safe to find neighbors to help out when someone in the family is sick or you need a ride to the airport.… read more »

A Home for Island Values
A Home for Island Values

by James Koshiba on April 21, 2014 ()

Promoting strong community values requires only the generous sharing of personal tales, a commitment to continual practice and a community of people who hold some cherished ideals in common.… read more »

How Exactly Do We Find Joy Together in Chaotic Times?
How Exactly Do We Find Joy Together in Chaotic Times?

by Rachel Brnjas on April 7, 2014 ()

The actions for deepening our sense of community and connection to others explored by Paul Born in his new book, "Deepening Community."… read more »

What's Complicated About a Pocket Park?
What's Complicated About a Pocket Park?

by Janis Foster Richardson on March 25, 2014 ()

Building a pocket park in a Milwaukee neighborhood was a way for people to work together, experience success together and strengthen their ties as neighbors … and much more. It goes to show that big thinking on small grants isn’t always as easy as it might appear.… read more »

Transforming a Dysfunctional Legal System
Transforming a Dysfunctional Legal System

by J. Kim Wright on December 3, 2013 ()

What if lawyers were peacemakers? What if you could take your hardest problems to a lawyer to be solved? And what if you could count on receiving compassionate listening from your lawyer? What if lawyers saw themselves as agents of transformation, helping their clients heal their conflicts? How would such a legal profession change the world? Imagine . . .… read more »

Escaping to Freedom of Association and Neighborliness
Escaping to Freedom of Association and Neighborliness

by John McKnight, Nicole Cashin on September 23, 2013 ()

When Nicole Cashin decided to "escape from Facebook" she found the freedom and time to truly connect with her community of friends and neighbors.… read more »

20 Things You Can Do When You Know Someone's Gift
20 Things You Can Do When You Know Someone's Gift

by Bruce Anderson on September 3, 2013 ()

“Ask the person to tell you a story about a time they used their gift and something really good happened for someone else.” This is one of the 20 ways Bruce Anderson’s Community Activators workgroup says you can use knowledge of people’s gifts to help them build community.… read more »

Nourishing America
Nourishing America

by Zoe S. Erler on August 27, 2013 ()

Americans have forgotten the place of community in relation to our food, says a recent article on nourishing America from The Philanthropic Enterprise. The groups that are making the biggest difference in getting Americans well-fed are the ones that focus on ownership of food sources, food education, affordability, work readiness and community.… read more »

Framing for Change: How We Tell Our Story Matters
Framing for Change: How We Tell Our Story Matters

by Doyle Canning, Patrick Reinsborough on July 8, 2013 ()

How we tell the story of a better world matters—and the best way is to live the alternatives we advocate.… read more »

The Economy: Under New Ownership
The Economy: Under New Ownership

by Marjorie Kelly on May 23, 2013 ()

The deep redesign of our economy isn’t beginning in Washington, D.C. It is rooted in relationships: to the living earth and to one another. It’s about a shift from dominion to community.… read more »

A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life
A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life

by Jill J. Jensen on May 22, 2013 ()

Margaret Mead is not the only person to recognize that the way the world changes is through individual acts and the efforts of small groups of committed people. Parker Palmer has long helped us search for ways to give a life meaning and to change the world.… read more »

Harnessing and Harvesting “The Ignorant Perfection of Ordinary People”
Harnessing and Harvesting “The Ignorant Perfection of Ordinary People”

by April Doner on May 2, 2013 ()

The first of a series on the learning, challenges and opportunities seen at Connecting4Community to shift to more citizen-centered, bottom-up ways of living and structuring our approaches to the problems we see around us.… read more »

Seeing Blue
Seeing Blue

by Edd Conboy on April 30, 2013 ()

Having to stand in line for this service or that program is one of the most powerful reinforcers of the scarcity mindset. It symbolizes helplessness, hopelessness and the constant concern that there is not enough ... and that it will run out just before it is my turn. Edd Conboy did something about that.… read more »

Measuring and Evaluating Community Initiatives
Measuring and Evaluating Community Initiatives

by Peter Block, Tom Dewar on April 22, 2013 ()

Highlights from Peter's April 16 online/dial-up conversation with Tom Dewar, co-director of the Aspen Institute’s Roundtable on Community Change and long-time member of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute.… read more »

"The Well" ~ A Symbol of Healthy Community

by Jeffrey Bordelon on February 26, 2013 ()

The I Ching reading "The Well" is a symbol of community and offers a powerful expression of what a healthy and sustainable community could look like.… read more »

Love Letters to Strangers
Love Letters to Strangers

by Hannah Brencher on February 14, 2013 ()

Hannah Brencher believes in the power of pen and paper, so she started a community that encourages strangers to exchange love letters.… read more »

Strengthening Government and Community through Genuine Partnerships
Strengthening Government and Community through Genuine Partnerships

by Jim Diers on January 9, 2013 ()

Some local governments are beginning to recognize that their communities have untapped resources as well as unmet needs. And people are starting to identify as citizens and see the government as an extension of themselves. Partnering this way makes many more resources available to address local needs, and the solutions tend to be more creative, holistic and appropriate.… read more »

Pay It Forward
Pay It Forward

by Jill J. Jensen on January 8, 2013 ()

How the film "Pay It Forward" can inspire young and old to make a difference in the world.… read more »

Together? Tis the Season
Together? Tis the Season

by Paul Born on December 19, 2012 ()

Can community find us this holiday season? Can we find community? Paul Born reminds us that our sense of community is easily shaped by our expectations and invites us to be deliberate about building or deepening our feeling of community during the holiday season.… read more »

Out of Chaos
Out of Chaos

by Sarah van Gelder on November 12, 2012 ()

Chaotic times are also times ripe with possibilities. Small actions and choices can have major, although unpredictable, effects in determining what comes next.… read more »

The Classic Duo
The Classic Duo

by Dan Duncan on November 9, 2012 ()

How local governments can create effective community change using results-based accountability coupled with asset-based community development methods.… read more »

The Possibility of Sustainable Communities
The Possibility of Sustainable Communities

by Jeffrey Bordelon on November 6, 2012 ()

The source for transforming how we work in community at the social and cultural level must be people in communities determining for themselves how to proceed. How to catalyze this effort is the Possibility.… read more »

44 Ways to Build Community

September 17, 2012 ()

"Turn off your TV. Leave your house. Know your neighbors. Greet people. Look up when you're walking." That's just the beginning of 44 simple ways to build community.… read more »

Belonging: A 21st Century Challenge
Belonging: A 21st Century Challenge

by Al Etmanski on August 20, 2012 ()

The challenge of Belonging is unprecedented. It crosses boundaries, across sectors, groups, and disciplines. It affects all of us directly or indirectly. Our traditional safety nets are not set up to respond.… read more »

7 Ways to Have More by Owning Less

by Maria Popova on August 9, 2012 ()

How to push back at consumerism, tap into neighborhood abundance and build community through the power of sharing.… read more »

Communities on the Move

by Laura Fulton on July 18, 2012 ()

Laments about being stuck on cars, trains, buses and airplanes are commonplace. Laura Fulton looks at how commuter experiences can be transformative opportunities for community building.… read more »

HoodRoving in G-Park: Chocolate, Radio, Tango, Change

by April Doner on June 29, 2012 ()

“Making a difference” can be as simple as putting on a different lens for looking at the place where you live, and then inviting others to look with you.… read more »

It’s the Community, Stupid!

by Ron Dwyer-Voss on June 27, 2012 ()

Social opportunities, aesthetics and the "welcome factor" are the three most common and powerful drivers of community attachment, a national study found, and it turns out that economic productivity is dramatically influenced by how good we feel about where we live.… read more »

10 Ways to Create Community Where You Live
10 Ways to Create Community Where You Live

by Ross Chapin on June 21, 2012 ()

How to build community here and now—because neighborhoods are more than houses in proximity.… read more »

Restoring Lives: Now That’s Justice

by Patrice Gaines on May 22, 2012 ()

Each time a person is locked away behind bars, it leaves a void in a family, neighborhood or community. Forty years since prison, former Washington Post reporter, author and motivational speaker Patrice Gaines still fights to get free.… read more »

Time Banking: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

by Edgar Cahn on March 27, 2012 ()

Why let the availability of money determine the range of the possible? Time banks are taking off, in ways you never expected.… read more »

Join Us for Connecting4Community in Cincinnati in May
Join Us for Connecting4Community in Cincinnati in May

by Louise van Rhyn, Charles Holmes on March 26, 2012 ()

A special invitation to the Connecting4Community gathering with John and Peter from two members of the event team.… read more »

Vollmer’s List: The Increasing Burden Placed on America’s Public Schools

by Jamie Vollmer on March 16, 2012 ()

Public education champion Jamie Vollmer catalogs all the academic, social, and health responsibilities that have been turned over to our schools. He says, "No generation of teachers and administrators in the history of the world has been told to fulfill this mandate: do not just teach children, but raise them!"… read more »

Breathing Life In by Stepping Away

by Laura Fulton on March 6, 2012 ()

Stepping away from our communities from time to time gives us a way to refresh our thoughts, gain perspective and return with renewed vision and purpose.… read more »

Change the Story to Change the World

by Duane Elgin on February 27, 2012 ()

The most difficult challenge facing humanity is bringing stories of the human journey into our collective awareness that empower us to see a future of great opportunity.… read more »

The Meaning of Citizenship

February 24, 2012 ()

What citizenship in action means to South African Mike Fraser.… read more »

When I Grow Up: A Six-Year-Old’s Vision of a Gift Community

by Bill Kauth and Zoe Alowan on February 23, 2012 ()

Six-year-old Sabina shares her vision of a community she will have when she grows up.… read more »

A Love Letter to My Neighborhood

by April Doner on February 21, 2012 ()

When April Doner started to map the assets of her Sarasota, FL neighborhood, she took a unique tack. She wrote a love letter.… read more »

Building Competent Communities: A Matter of Survival in the 21st Century

by Jimmy Toyama on February 14, 2012 ()

The erosion of community life can be reversed with a strong and positive upward trend in consciousness and action that says belongingness, connectedness, cohesion, and service to communal purposes.… read more »

Occupying a Different Community Space

by John McKnight and Peter Block on February 7, 2012 ()

UCLA professor and environmental health sciences department chair Richard J. Jackson's concern for the physical attributes of neighborhood and city spaces matches our thoughts on building the relationships that lead to community abundance.… read more »

The Key to Disaster Survival? Friends and Neighbors

by Shankar Vedantam on February 1, 2012 ()

Political scientist Daniel Aldrich went halfway around the world to discover that the people who will help you survive a natural disaster are usually neighbors.… read more »

Gambling on Community in Las Vegas, NV

by Richard C. Harwood on January 26, 2012 ()

It’s not a mere roll of the dice that’s bringing Vegas back, but intentional actions to create real change and community.… read more »

Leadership Is a Process of Community

by Dave Soleil on January 13, 2012 ()

When we deconstruct leadership, we will not find a hero at the heart of leadership. We will find community.… read more »

About Time

by Clare Goff on December 19, 2011 ()

More than 30 years after he first created the concept, Edgar Cahn believes that in midst of economic crisis the world is finally waking up to the possibilities offered by timebanking.… read more »

Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition

December 14, 2011 ()

An anonymous email making its way around the Web and into inboxes these last few weeks echoes many of John and Peter’s thoughts on finding a life of abundance “within walking distance.”… read more »

A Waiting Posture, or an Active Ownership Posture?

by Louise van Rhyn on October 19, 2011 ()

In a recent email to her South African colleagues, Louise van Rhyn shared a thought-provoking video of South African physician, anthropologist and activist Mamphela Ramphele. Louise asks, what are the parallels between Ramphele's thinking about the meaning of "citizen" and John and Peter's?… read more »

A Message from Occupy Wall Street

October 14, 2011 ()

Even if the protesters were able to narrow their concerns to one, easily defined goal, some organizers say that would miss the point.… read more »

Interview with Peter Block

by Laura Fulton on September 27, 2011 ()

In this interview with Laura Fulton of CommunitiesKnow, Peter talks about the role of youth in community building and what placed-based and institutional communities can learn from each other.… read more »

Interview with John McKnight

by Laura Fulton on September 15, 2011 ()

In this interview with Laura Fulton of CommunitiesKnow, John talks about how we understand and enact place-based community in our lives.… read more »

The Value of Public Service

by Randall Reid on August 19, 2011 ()

The collaboration and work of many people makes community abundance possible. The role of public employees and the value of public service is vital to the health and success of our communities.… read more »

Rekindling Responsibility for Our Elders

by April Doner on August 10, 2011 ()

A personal reflection on how one family is blazing its own path of real, not paid, care and re-integration of the ages into their community.… read more »

Thriving in a Post-Consumerist Society

by Duane Elgin on August 3, 2011 ()

What does a thriving way of life look like in a post-consumerist society? Think community.… read more »

Post Debt Crisis: How to Bring Out the Best in Ourselves

by Richard C. Harwood on August 2, 2011 ()

Five questions for bringing out the best in ourselves and our communities… read more »

A Decentralist Reading List

by John McClaughry on August 1, 2011 ()

Recommendations from John McClaughry, founder of The Ethan Allen Institute, Vermont's free-market public policy research and education organization; widely published commentator on Vermont issues; co-author of The Vermont Papers and editor of the Institute’s monthly Ethan Allen Letter.… read more »

Three Ways to Restore Your Belief

by Richard C. Harwood on July 29, 2011 ()

The restoration of belief in ourselves and in one another is pivotal to all our efforts to make a difference in communities. Without it, we may hold back from doing what we know is required to bring about change.… read more »

When Charity Counts, But Change Is Called For

by Richard C. Harwood on July 15, 2011 ()

The problem with charity is that we believe that it means change. For real change to happen, we must get at laws, policies, norms and relationships, says public policy/citizen engagement authority Richard C. Harwood.… read more »

We All Belong
We All Belong

by Bruce Anderson on July 11, 2011 ()

How the vision of "Welcome Vashon" transformed from possibility to reality, with more than 20 action projects working to make Vashon Island, WA a more welcoming community… read more »

Open Letter to Journalists

by Peggy Holman on June 13, 2011 ()

It's time for a new compact between journalists and the public says a self-styled “one of many formerly known as the audience” in her classic piece on the contribution journalism can make to bring our communities together.… read more »

Jill J. Jensen Review: The Answer to How Is Yes

by Jill J. Jensen on May 27, 2011 ()

"Getting the question right may be the most important thing we can do," Peter says in the opening to Part One of The Answer to How is Yes: Acting on What Matters. Jill's review of the book summarizes why it's critical for building healthy communities and organizations.… read more »

Social Innovation - Doing More With More

by Al Etmanski on May 26, 2011 ()

Is "social innovation" a way to off-load responsibilities to communities without additional resources? Or is it about doing more with more?… read more »

Notes on Peter Block and "Art Calling Out Empire"

by Ferrell Foster on May 19, 2011 ()

Highlights from Peter's session at Our Abundant Communities, a conversation with John, Walter Brueggemann, the world’s leading interpreter of the Old Testament, and some 200 community-minded people at Trinity University April 27 and 28, 2011… read more »

Is Square Dancing on Its Last Legs?

by Steve Schmidt on May 18, 2011 ()

Some may dismiss square dancing as being old-fashioned, and yet it survives. Could it be a form of community building and possibly symbolize the re-emergence of more participative forms of connecting?… read more »

Rediscovering the Neighborhood

by Alan Roxburgh on May 17, 2011 ()

Missional leader and educator Alan Roxburgh urges the faith community to ask new questions to link its work to neighborhood and community.… read more »

Away From Help and Towards Community

by Ray Thompson on May 16, 2011 ()

Community consultant Ray Thompson writes on how he began to see how helping was a way to block community building.… read more »

Notes on John McKnight and "The Gift of Fallibility"

by Ferrell Foster on May 11, 2011 ()

John and Peter joined Walter Brueggemann, the world’s leading interpreter of the Old Testament, for a two-day conversation with some 200 community-minded people at Trinity University April 27 and 28, 2011. In this post Ferrell shares highlights from John's session.… read more »

Notes on Walter Brueggemann and “The Food Fight: Accumulation and Abundance”

by Ferrell Foster on May 3, 2011 ()

John and Peter joined Walter Brueggemann, the world’s leading interpreter of the Old Testament, for a two-day conversation with some 200 community-minded people at Trinity University April 27 and 28, 2011. This is the first of a series of highlights we will post from that wonderful gathering.… read more »

Our Abundant Communities
Our Abundant Communities

by John McKnight, Peter Block, Walter Brueggemann on April 25, 2011 ()

John, Peter and Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann explore themes of power and patriarchy; human fallibility and gifts; and accumulation and abundance in building and sustaining community in these uncut videos from their two days at Trinity University, San Antonio, for the 2011 Willson Lectures.… read more »

Thoughts on John's Recommended Reading

by Leslie Osborn on April 13, 2011 ()

Leslie Osborn asked me what basic books she should read to understand my viewpoint. I gave her this list and she wrote the descriptions that are better than I could do. ~ John ~… read more »

A Conversation with Peter Block

by Seth Resler on January 12, 2011 ()

In an interview with Seth Resler, Peter reflects on abundance, time, relatedness, possibility, ownership and more.… read more »

Choices

by Shawn Gavin on November 9, 2010 ()

After Shawn ran for city council and won, Peter asked him to write about his journey through his Abundant Community… read more »

You're Invited

by Shawn Gavin on November 1, 2010 ()

Extending the invitation to the community's first civic engagement… read more »

The Community Center

by Shawn Gavin on October 18, 2010 ()

The Community Center is a place where we can create The Abundant Community.… read more »

Days in the Park

by Shawn Gavin on August 16, 2010 ()

Never have so many gathered in our community for one event.… read more »

Sunday Sermon: The Abundant Community

by Shawn Gavin on August 2, 2010 ()

What started as a simple conversation over a cup of coffee has turned into a three-day community gathering.… read more »

Summer Break Is upon Us

by Ray Thompson on July 29, 2010 ()

As schools throughout the country cut back, there are new possibilities for neighbors to become a "village that teaches a child."… read more »

Judith Snow's Gifts List

by Judith Snow on July 1, 2010 ()

One day, my old friend Judith Snow told me that what we call disabilities are often gifts miscast as part of the empty half of the glass half full. When I asked her to help me understand her point, she shared her Gift's List with me. ~ John ~… read more »

A Million Souls

by Kevin "Doc" Klein on June 28, 2010 ()

We struggle and suffer / Just like a million other souls / Who, for lack of connection / See themselves separate from each other’s story . . .… read more »

Nurturing Our Taro Patches

by Jimmy Toyama on June 26, 2010 ()

In their new book, The Abundant Community, Peter and John make it clear that our drive to find “satisfaction through consumption” has profound implications that we do not realize.… read more »

Journey through My Abundant Community

by Shawn Gavin on June 4, 2010 ()

After Shawn ran for city council and won, Peter asked him to write about his journey through his Abundant Community.… read more »

Building Communities One Room at a Time

by Ian Macdonald on June 3, 2010 ()

This week I learnt that building a community is difficult. And I learnt that it is so very easy.… read more »

Can Building Strong Communities Combat Crime?

by Julie Cunningham on June 3, 2010 ()

What is the secret to combating crime? . . . As I've asked people in the police force, politics and business this question, no one has had a certain answer.… read more »

Weaving Community

by Cathy Park on June 3, 2010 ()

I recently relocated to Cape Town and some days I feel like I’m the only one who is alone . . .… read more »

You Really Can Get Something for Nothing

by Margot Adler on June 3, 2010 ()

Free food at the Really, Really Free Market in New York City… read more »