Care of People on the Margin

The Economics of Neighborliness

We cannot build strong neighborhoods and communities while laboring under the principles of traditional economics. The dominant economic thinking begins with a religious belief in scarcity and self-interest. This rules most modern economies and continues to dominate what we...

The Bin Laden Effect: In Praise of Our Government

The death of Osama bin Laden completes a painful chapter in our history. The reaction of many is celebration. Some will use this occasion to warn of more fear to come. I, however, would like to take hold of...

Our Abundant Communities

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...

ABCD in Action

ABCD in Action is a lively new site focused on ways to apply the principles and practices of Asset-Based Community Development and related strength-based and commonsense approaches. The site’s members now include more than 2,000 practitioners from more than 50 countries...

Thoughts on John’s Recommended Reading

When I asked John what he would recommend to read,  he gave me the six titles in this list. These books all hail from the 1970s — a period in which social institutions in the U.S. were very much under fire. ...

A Future for Journalism: The Story of What’s Working

Most of what you read about the field of journalism is grim. Journalists now rank below lawyers as being trusted in the eyes of the public. Print news and TV channels are in a steep revenue decline. We are...

How Much Harm Do Social Services Do?

A few weeks ago, I received this email from Dan Oliver of Cleveland, Ohio, asking my thoughts on the role of social service agencies in undercutting the power of families and neighborhoods to solve their own problems: Dear Mr. McKnight, I...

The Latest Executive Tool: The Weed Whacking Golf Driver

We often criticize our consumer society in this space, but some purchases are just too good to pass up, especially when it comes to something that will give us an edge in the ultimate Corporate Sport: Golf. Before getting...

The Neighborhood Plague

A plague has descended on many of our neighborhoods.  It is a plague intensified by recession, corporate drive for profit and confusion about what government can do that is useful. People are out of work; homes are foreclosed. All the public...

Biding My Time

For those concerned about the side effects of consumerism, about the “new normal” recession that will not go away, about disparity of living standards, about the well-being of our children, our health, our elderly, our safety and our food...

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Unlocking Community Ownership in Ft. Wayne, IN

When neighbors are at the center of generating ideas and creating their visions, local resources, gifts and talents can...