Organizational Culture of Fear: The Shadow Side of US Culture

Don't let the title mislead you. Peter's intimate conversation with life, career and business coach CJ Liu is profound, touching and funny. Ostensibly a discussion of Peter's book Flawless Consulting, CJ says at the end, "We didn't talk about the book at all." Instead, the conversation ranged from personal transformation, integrating who you are with what you do and outlets for pain and rage to freedom, authenticity, courage and the power of co-creation--plus yoga, cartoons, parenting and much more.

Tamarack Institute Webinar: An Other Kingdom

Sylvia Cheuy, Director of Tamarack Institute's online learning community, engaged Peter, John and Walter Brueggemann in a powerful conversation about their new book An Other Kingdom, what inspired them to write this book together and how the vision for their proposed paradigm shift can take hold in our own lives.

Running time: 00:50:51

Change the Conversation, Change the Culture

Peter talks 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.

Running time: 1:02:21

John McKnight: What I Have Learned So Far

Video by Philip Booth

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.

Running time: 00:33:22


"No One Is Doing What You Are Doing"

John comments on the significance of the work the Nebraska Community Foundation and its affiliated funds are doing: how they have grown local community development foundations, many in small rural areas, by focusing on what local people can offer to their communities and creating a culture of giving across the state.

Two Kinds of Community Organiizing

John describes two different approaches to community organizing in a Q & A session on community development.

Running time: 00:07:01

Where Change Begins

In this video from Canada's Social Innovation Generation, John talks about how empowering local citizens and building relationships at the community level has been the source of all the sweeping social change he has witnessed, from the American civil rights movement to the Arab Spring.

Running time: 00:15:35

Local Community and Major Movements

John explains why all big change grows from the small stuff in local communities.

Running time: 00:15:37

Associations and Conspiracies

John reflects on associations as the most powerful force neighborhoods have to build community and produce positive change.

Running time: 0:02:35 

True Stories

John tells a story to show the difference between the world of facts, data, systematic information and the community's way of knowing: the story. And the most important thing for strong communities is having true stories, stories that match our experience.

Running time: 0:01:41 Home page photo: Josh NCinDC

Flying Down

John reminds us that progress is not all that it seems.

Running time 0:01:41

The Stranger

John explains the full meaning of what it means to be a hospitable neighborhood and how our lives are enriched by welcoming people we don't know into our community.

Running time 0:01:26 | Home page image: Ramashng

Worms Everywhere

John reminds us that what we are looking for is already there . . . if we can see it.

Running time: 0:02:27 | Home page image "Can of Worms": *sean

Life-Giving Journalism

Peter explores with Peter Pula of Axiom News how Axiom is remaking journalism by looking for stories that have the capacity to give the community life.

Running time: 0:06:05 | Home page image: Nadia Minic

Putting the Storyteller Back into Journalism

Peter interviews Peter Pula, CEO of Axiom News, on how generative journalism differs from mainstream media in framing questions, making space for silence and restoring storytelling to the craft.

Running time: 0:05:23

Government Is Not the Problem

John and Peter reflect on how all the talk that government is the problem actually deflects our attention from the privatization that now runs our culture.

Running time 0:02:56 | Home page image: Unhindered by Talent 

Community Building through Gifts

John talks about how communities get built by seeing that the principal resource people have for the task is their gifts, skills, talents, capacities.

Running time: 0:03:59 | Home page photo: Ken's Oven

You Can't Command Care

John debunks the illusion of institutional care. Institutional systems can command many behaviors but they cannot command care. Care is the commitment of one person to another, from the heart. It is the domain of people who come together in community.

Running time: 0:04:38 | Home page photo: The Italian Voice

We Are the Authority

How the Westside Health Authority started with neighbors asking a simple question: What can WE do about our health, and do it our way?

Running time: 0:02:33 | Home page photo: Westside Health Authority

The Real Disability Is Disconnection

John tells the story of what he learned traveling across Canada with Pat Worth, the founder of People First.

Running time: 0:02:35 | Home page photo: Michael Stout

The Institutional Assumption

John reflects on how we are misled by the “institutional assumption” in our thinking about change — for example, thinking in terms of medical care, clinics, insurance, outreach instead of health — and what happens when we instead see community life as the source of the outcome we seek.

Running time: 0:02:53 | Home page photo: Ernest Vikne  

Taking Back Our Children

In a very real sense, the kids in our juvenile corrections institutions today are our children. Until we take responsibility for the children we exile to juvenile corrections, we remain unproductive communities.  A real community is one where we see that young people we have exiled have all kinds of gifts and we organize ourselves to show our belief in that fact.

Running time: 0:02:08 | Home page photo: Cuito Canavale

Learning from Other Neighborhoods

Who did it? Are they like me? John tells why these questions home in on reasons why learning from other neighborhoods is more effective in community building than professional intervention.

Running time: 0:02:27 | Home page photo: Tonpp1

The Club Is Not the Club

There's more to your local book club, dog club or poker club than books, dogs or cards. Peter reminds us of the power such associations can bring into neighborhood life. All we have to do is ask.

Running time 0:01:03 | Home page photo: Schani

This Land Is My Land

John tells of wonderful possibilities like community ovens when neighbors decide for themselves how to use public lands.

Running time: 0:02:56 | Home page photo: Friends of Dufferin Park

Edgar Cahn Interview with Jon Snow

Jon Snow’s interview with Edgar on the U.K.’s Community Channel is a great introduction to Edgar Cahn and his work, especially what time banking is and how time banks work.

Running time 0:06:14

The Point Is the Place

Peter explains that the more we know and care about the place where we are, the more likely we are to do the functions that neighborhoods are meant to do.

Running time 0:01:15 | Home page photo: See-ming Lee

Citizen Cop Out

So many community meetings are often a time of blaming and finger-pointing — a way for citizens to cop out. John asks in this short clip, What would you do differently?

Running time: 0:02:00 | Home page photo: Jennifer Kumar

Our Abundant Communities: Neighborly Nourishment in the Wilderness

Videos of John, Peter and Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann in action at the 2011 Willson Lectures at Trinity University, San Antonio, explore themes of power and patriarchy; human fallibility and gifts; and accumulation and abundance in building and sustaining community. 

Capacity Building Beyond Community Services

John explores the differences between “care” and “service” in this segment from his video interview with The Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities and explains why systems cannot provide care.

ABCD 101

A great introduction to the concepts and techniques of asset based community development. In this four-part video, filmed at Manchester Community College, John explains the five basic ABCD building blocks, how to do neighborhood asset mapping, and other principles and practices that set ABCD apart from traditional needs-based community development approaches.

Running times: Part One 0:20:48 | Part Two 0:21:01 | Part Three 0:20:25 | Part Four 0:08:02

The Right Way to Read

John tells the story of a neighbor who had been told that her four-year-old who already knew how to read would have to be “broken of that” when she entered kindergarten as an example of how institutions and professionals whose own ideas of “how you do things right” intrudes on the natural, necessary functions of families and neighbors to be important teachers of their own children.

Running time: 0:03:43 | Home page photo: San Jose, CA Library

Surprising Lessons from a Potlatch

John was invited to a potlatch with four bands of the Kawkiutl people in British Columbia. In his video, he tells of their unique way of resolving disputes by giving gifts to one another.

That night, he learned something even more surprising: How "helpers" helped to kill the tribe's culture.

Running time: 0:06:22

Community Defined

A few short definitions

Running time: 0:0:47

John McKnight on Association

John's story of his work with the Kellogg Foundation brings to life the power of Association in building community and shows why freedom of association is so vital to democracy.

Running time: 0:03:29

Peter Block at the New School

Peter explores a way of thinking about our places (workplaces, neighborhoods, towns) that creates an opening for authentic communities to exist and what we can do to make that happen. 

Seminar at The New School for Management and Urban Policy, New York, October 11, 2010. Running time: 1:24:51