Stories

The Five Valued Experiences

For years, Tim Vogt and the crew Starfire Council of Greater Cincinnati have been working hard at turning their once-traditional disabilities service agency inside out. Tim explains the journey of thinking that has led them from helping people in...

Why Circle is the Core Group Process for Emerging Participatory Leadership

We are in charge of how we meet together. Chairs and tables do not have to be bolted to the floor in long rows facing a speaker's platform. The voice of upper management is not the only voice with...

How to Integrate Gift Circles into Any Community

Community: the Missing Ingredient to Happiness I first learned of Gift Economy in a geodesic dome in the gorgeous middle of nowhere, Utah at a Reality Sandwich retreat in 2009. Charles Eisenstein was there speaking, and the sparkle in his eye was...

A Call to Connection

The Common Good podcast is a conversation about the significance of place, eliminating economic isolation and the structure of belonging. This episode features the Abundant Community Conversation in November, 2022 in which Peter Block spoke with Jenn Hoos Rothberg, the...

Oakland’s Understory Restaurant Prioritizes People and Community

For decades, neighbors, social scientists and city planners have recognized the critical role of "bumping places" - spots where meeting new and old friends is made natural and easy - for a healthy and vibrant communities. Bumping places are typically...

A Handbook for Abolitionists

In the following article from Yes! Magazine, Seattle-based creative, community organizer and abolitionist Nikkita Oliver illuminates the meaning of "abolition" with her own story of witnessing her mother's choice to respond with respect and care in the face of...

Hospitality at the Center of Dispute Resolution

In his recent article in the Cardozo School of Law Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peter Block illustrates the common themes threading through three powerful stories within the journal: hospitality, community-centeredness, and the power of building trust as a starting...

‘By Any Means Necessary:’ Detroit Neighborhoods Spearhead Unique Food Solutions

"We are the ones we've been waiting for." This Hopi Elders wisdom embodies the spirit of community members across Detroit, Michigan who are taking the initiative to support one another through collecting, sharing, and organizing around one of life's...

‘There’s Good Everywhere:’ Neighbors Partner with Free Library of Philadelphia to Find and Connect Assets

From 2018 to 2021, I had the great joy of working with my colleague Joe Erpenbeck and a team of colleagues from the ABCD Institute in walking alongside an immensely creative, caring group of community members and project staff...

A Deep Dive into the Art of Neighboring

Improving communities and the lives of those who live there begins when we embrace the singular importance of neighbors being in authentic relationship with one another. In this fireside chat organized by the Tamarack Institute, Deanna Butz from the...

What brings you joy?

An urban neighborhood strengthens its community by asking unexpected questions The Learning Tree initiative takes a different route to enhancing community by focusing on talents and gifts — not poverty.   When faced with an inability to pay their rent, mortgage or...

People’s WPA (cont’d): Prisoner’s Apothecary & SIPP Culture

As a continuation of our spotlight on the People's WPA by the US Department of Arts & Culture, the following are two stories of artists working within their communities to foster transformation toward a more caring, nourished, just and...

A Movement for Neighborhood Connection in Perth, Australia

The need for social connection has never been clearer. Lockdowns have shown us the importance of connecting and building relationships with those that live closest to us. Over the last six years Neighborhood Connect has successfully experimented with creating...

Kwanzaa in Philly: How neighborhoods celebrate the African-American holiday

The article below tells the story of how one neighbor generated unity, learning and joy within her neighborhood by bringing fellow community members together around the African-American holiday of Kwanzaa.   Kwanzaa in Philly: How neighborhoods celebrate the African-American holiday by Michaela...

People’s WPA (cont’d): Turn the Page Movement & Auntie Sewing Squad

As a continuation of our spotlight on the People's WPA by the US Department of Arts & Culture, the following are two stories of artists working within their communities to foster transformation toward a more caring, nourished, just and...

Indiana Residents Act as “Stand-In Grandparents” to New Residents

  GREENSBURG, Ind. — A rural city in southeastern Indiana has piqued the interest of hundreds of families considering a move there after it offered stand-in ”grandparents” to babysit their children as part of an incentive program aimed at attracting...

How Institutional Leaders Can Transform Their System into a Member of Local Neighborhoods

Traditionally, these Learnings share knowledge we have gained from innovative neighborhood and local institutional leaders. This Learning is different because in it a great institutional innovator speaks for himself.   The innovator speaking here is Mike Butler, Retired Public Safety Chief...

Why Neighboring Matters in Organizational Mission

Learning to be un-blind. That's how a friend of mine, DeAmon Harges of Indianapolis, put it to me recently. Learning to be unblind is a huge challenge of org leadership, especially when it comes to predominantly white institutions and...

Social Lessons from Transformation: Starfire Council

Sometime in 2007 or 2008, Tim Vogt, who directed an award-winning agency serving people with disabilities, had his journey interrupted years ago by a visit from three people who were unknown to him who got up and spoke at...

Artists Transforming Society: the People’s WPA

    Despite its name, the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC) is not a government agency. Rather, it is an independent organization formed around the importance of arts and culture to the health of communities (and, by extension, to any...

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The Five Valued Experiences

For years, Tim Vogt and the crew Starfire Council of Greater Cincinnati have been working hard at turning their...