What is the free market consumer ideology? How does its assumptions affect our lives? In this “The One You Feed” podcast, guest Peter Block discusses concepts from his book, An Other Kingdom, including the pillars of the free market consumer ideology: Scarcity, Certainty, Perfection, and Privatization. As people search for meaning and freedom, Peter shares how neighborliness and covenant are part of an alternative narrative.
“Questions bring us together. Answers alienate us.”
“The scarcity mindset is a lie. There is enough.”
“The ‘how’ question destroys our faith in each other, as if the only thing that matters is how long, how much, how predicable.”
Lisa Gale Hadden, Michigan Area Health Education Center executive director, has learned that when medical and nursing students go to neighborhoods to talk with families about their health they discover untapped resources and assets.
“They really saw the value in connecting to the neighborhood health wisdom and used that to become better health care professionals. It changed their care planning for their patients.” Students asked appreciative, open-ended questions to discover how neighbors define their own health in their own terms. Twenty years later, the students have who are now practitioners are still talking about it.
In this conversation, Lisa – who acts as a bridge between medical and community knowledge in her work – shares more about this experience with John McKnight and Peter Block.
“The more that there’s income equality in a community, or city, or town the healthier people are.” – Lisa Gale Hadden
“Our advice (to students) has always been . . . you’re there first and foremost to just be a neighbor. I think our students really began to see that as they developed relationships with our neighbors.” – Lisa Gale Hadden
Tune into this insightful conversation with Cormac Russell. Cormac, Managing Director of UK-based Nurture Development, has been doing asset based community work in over 100 neighborhoods around the world.
In this conversation, Cormac shares the 8 Touchstones he developed for animating neighborhood relationships. He also shares about learning sites, the role of the community animator and connector, and lessons being learned.
“A lot of our work is about just calling people into a radical presence and a radical act of revealing what’s here, and how we can get that connected up and mobilized.” – Cormac Russell
“We are very focused on how we can accompany local residents and interested practitioners on the journey of getting into right relationship with each other. That’s a critical first touchstone.” – Cormac
Photo via Nurture Development
In Rochester NY, Deborah Puntenney and her network are transforming the conventional wisdom about how foundation money can produce resident health outcomes. Eight years into the project with the Greater Rochester Health Foundation they are investing in the social determinants of health through grassroots, place-based and resident-driven efforts. This is not about more health services.
The foundation and a group of its grantees formed the Neighborhood Health Status Improvement Initiative, where four neighborhood groups are using Asset Based Community Development to work on health-related issues.
Deborah shares examples from an inner-city community in this conversation with Peter Block and John McKnight:
photo courtesy Pixabay.com
David Mathews shares the story of a community where the schoolhouse’s paint was falling off. When a group of neighbors got together and repainted the school the purpose wasn’t about getting paint on the walls – but to demonstrate when people get together they can make a difference.
The Kettering Foundation’s primary research question is “what does it take to make democracy work as it should?” Research is conducted from the citizen’s perspective and explores what people can collectively do to address problems.
David shares these ideas and more in a conversation with John McKnight and Peter Block. Listen here:
City of Cincinnati solicitor Paula Boggs Muething joins Peter Block and John McKnight in conversation on what’s economically possible for poor and marginalized neighborhoods. (more…)
On Dec. 12, 2016, more than 60 callers listened to Peter Block and John McKnight reflect on their long history of working to building communities by focusing on gifts and connecting people. They discuss what ideas have endured and what questions remain. (more…)
Barry Daniel of The Middle Way Society speaks with Peter Block in this podcast using the broad themes of Peter’s books to base the discussion. The Middle Way Society’s aim is to encourage a universal approach to living a more integrated, ethical life, avoiding dogma or any appeal to authority.
Coauthors of An Other Kingdom, Walter Brueggemann, John McKnight, and Peter Block, talked with Peter Pula and Michelle Strutzenberger (Axiom News) about the new book. They describe how the three of them came together and why the religion of consumerism needs serious rethinking.
Jeff Yost talks to John McKnight and Peter Block about the Nebraska Community Foundation: a way to educate, train and initiate conversation between community members. He discusses how philanthropy can create jobs and help sustain community for generations to come, rather than only for the current generation.
Ed Everett, former city manager and now city strategist at nextdoor.com, talks about how technology and social media can bring neighbors closer together and strengthen community ties.
Tom Mosgaller talks about the necessity of having “gappers” aka people who work in the space between citizens and institutions.
Jackie Reed embodies the community embedded in efforts such as Every Block a Village and Westside Health Authority. She explains how health has become “a focus on problems” rather than on the people having them, and how she has helped create a new kind of health that offers fulfillment.
Janis Foster Richardson
Janis Foster Richardson explains the program Grassroots Grantmakers, which is a ‘network’ of people that are willing to provide funding to initiatives that create community. She looks at what motivates people to bond together, and reveals perhaps surprising results of what has and has not gotten desired results.
Howard Lawrence describes how he has drawn inspiration from The Abundant Community for Community League: a group designed to “initiate a momentum of household connections.” He explains who “Block Connectors” are, and how these citizens create boundaries, have conversations, and pull people with similar interests together, all in the same neighborhood.
Bruce Anderson talks with Peter Block and John McKnight about how people are unified by the desire to feel welcomed in a community, how everyone has felt unwelcome at some point regardless of class or caste. He also discusses his initiative, WelcomeVashon, which is about finding a group of people who all share the desire to make their community more welcoming. He further speaks about the differences he sees in “community organizing” versus the idea of welcoming.
John and special guest Ruston Seaman of New Vision Renewable Energy talk about different ways people and communities can enable others to recognize and use their gifts to do great things wherever they are.