This disconnection and detachment makes it hard if not impossible to envision a common future and work towards it together. We know what healthy communities look like - there are many success stories out there, and they've been described in detail.
What Block provides in this inspiring new book is an exploration of the exact way community can emerge from fragmentation: How is community built? How does the transformation occur? What fundamental shifts are involved? He explores a way of thinking about our places that creates an opening for authentic communities to exist and details what each of us can do to make that happen.
©2009 Peter Block; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
Book has some great incites on community building practices. It is written almost like a manual on how to get started on community building. Really good for someone who is a natural leader and is looking for some concrete structure to build off of. The book is written for the right brained and looks at community building from less of an idealistic approach and more from a concrete one. I found the book interesting and informative, but not exactly applicable to me per-se. The print copy would probably be more useful if someone where to use it as an actual manual. I bought a copy of the print version for someone who works on community building in my neighborhood and she absolutely loves the book. I didn't get a whole lot out of it, but mostly because I am not doing community organizing so... check your situation, could be really beneficial for you and your community.
Marty Jacobs consults in the areas of strategic planning, board governance, leadership development, and community engagement.
Throughout this book are threads of ideas presented in Block’s previous books (The Empowered Manager, Flawless Consulting, Stewardship, The Answer to How is Yes) that are woven into the context of creating stronger communities. It’s a testament to the evolution of Block’s thinking and therefore his work and is chock full of profound and quotable ideas:
• “The context that restores community is one of generosity, possibility, and gifts and not one of problem solving, fear, and retribution.”
• “A place of belonging is one where all voices have value.”
• “The small group is the unit of transformation.”
• “Questions are more transforming than answers.”
Block delves into the subject of what it takes to restore and transform our communities through dialogue and small groups. He examines the issues of leadership and citizenship and discusses a variety of large and small group methodologies that will lead to successful transformation. In today’s polarized political climate of finger pointing and gaming, this book offers a refreshing alternative to the status quo.
The first few chapters of this book was great and I took lots of notes. The problem is, I feel like I could've stopped after the beginning. The remainder of the book felt very scholarly, and the questions he poses to community organizers to ask within their communities and are extremely difficult to answer. I have this book been written in more plain language, I think it would've been a much better read.
Peter Block is the master of authentic, participatory process that awakens the deep potentisl of community. This book is a clear expression of ideas thst will transform your community work.
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