The Abundant Community (Hardcover)
Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 9781605095844, 192pp.
Publication Date: June 14, 2010
Other Editions of This Title:
We are besieged by messages from consumer society telling us that we are insufficient, that we must purchase what we need from specialists and systems outside the community. We outsource our health care, child care, relationships, recreation, our safety, and our satisfaction. We are trained to become consumers and clients, not citizens and neighbors. McKnight and Block take a thoughtful look at how this situation came about, what maintains it, and the crippling effect it has had on our families, our communities, and our environment.
Right in our neighborhood we have the capacity to address our human needs in ways that systems, which see us only as interchangeable units, as problems to be solved, never can. We all have gifts to offer, even the most seemingly marginal among us. It does not matter how rich or poor the neighborhood is. McKnight and Block suggest how to nurture voluntary, self-organizing structures that will reveal these gifts and allow them to be shared to the greatest mutual benefit. They recommend roles we can assume and actions we can take to reweave the social fabric that has been unraveled by consumerism and its belief that however much we have, it is not enough.
Each neighborhood has poeple with gifts and talents needed to provide for our prosperity and peace of mind -- this book offers practical ways to discover them. It gives voice to the ideas of an abundant community. It reminds us of our power to create a hope-filled life. It assures us that when we join together with our neighbors, we are the architects of the future where we want to live.
About the Author
Peter Block is a partner in Designed Learning, a training company that offers workshops designed by Block to build the skills outlined in his books. He is the author of Flawless Consulting, Stewardship, The Answer to How Is Yes, and Community. He is the recipient of numerous awards, most recently the Organization Development Network’s 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award.
Praise For The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods…
—Frances Strickland, educational psychologist and First Lady of Ohio
“Peter and John provocatively challenge us as individuals to understand the power of the individual and the potential of our work together. They also suggest local governments develop new ways of engaging and connecting residents to develop the assets available in all communities.”
—Robert J. O’Neill, Jr., Executive Director, International City/County Management Association
“This is a magnificent book. It is intelligent, but more than that, it is wise. This book is the kukakuka (deep conversation) between two kupuna (wise elders), sharing stories, ideas, memories, regrets, possibilities, and hope and weaving all of it together for us. Read this book with your mind, heart, and spirit.”
—Puanani Burgess, Principal, One Peace-at-a-Time
“In this slim volume there is theory and there is practice but above all, hope and a way out of the disconnectedness of our society. It remind us that the success of the American democratic experiment lies in the hands of its citizens.”
—James Keene, City Manager, Palo Alto, California
“The Abundant Community presents an elegant and compelling argument... A powerful statement that can simultaneously enable our everyday politics and enrich our souls.”
—Carmen Sirianni, Morris Hillquit Professor of Labor and Social Thought, Brandeis University, and author of Investing in Democracy
“This book is a remarkable and timely contribution. It proposes an inspiring alternative that pushes us to engage and reengage on this entirely possible journey of hope.”
—Jack Pierpoint, Publisher, Inclusion Press
“The Abundant Community is both a gentle awakening and a powerful call to action. These ideas have inspired a network of community builders in South Africa.”
—Dr. Louise van Rhyn, founder, Symphonia (South Africa)
“In an era when we look to professions and institutions to address most of our community needs, or to fix our neighborhood problems, this book provides the refreshing and empowering perspective that what we most need exists all around us—a message that is as relevant in Mumbai as it is in Minneapolis.”
—Mary Coyle, Director; Gordon Cunningham, Assistant Director; and Alison Mathie, Manager, Research and Publications, The Coady Institute, and authors of From Clients to Citizens
“We live in a world where every day many people experience loneliness, anxiety, and want. Many are hoping and wondering when the ‘big break’ will come. This book contains the map to the buried treasure. Locked in the secret code ‘invitation, participation, connection’ is the source of our wealth: our own and our neighbors’ giftedness.”
—Judith Snow, social inventor and peace advocate
“For over thirty-five years John McKnight and his colleagues at Evanston have labored to clarify the essence of mobilizing communities for health. Now writing with Peter Block the two offer us the E = mc2 of health. This book is destined to be a bible for public health and human services.”
—Dr. John R. Ashton, Chairman, United Kingdom Public Health Association, and Director of Public Health, Cumbria, England
“This book exposes what economists have missed: the core economy of community. It provides the vision and the tools that put a life of mean- ing and abundance within our reach and answers the only two questions we need to ask: Why are we here? And what kind of world do we want to leave for those who come after us?”
—Edgar Cahn, founder, Time Banks, and author of No More Throw-Away People
“Block and McKnight go right to the heart of what we have to pay atten- tion to and do if we want to live in a better world. Their book is intelli- gent, practical, and well crafted. Use it to help make your world better.”
—Adam Kahane, Partner, Reos Partners, and author of Power and Love
“This book gives us a new lens by which to see heretofore unseen limi- tations on and new possibilities for communal life. A useful guide for community organizers like me.”
—Jimmy Toyama, Columnist, Nurturing Our Taro Patches,
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