How can we connect local change-making pioneers and reduce their sense of isolation? A new, online platform called PeoplesHub will bring interactive, participative processes to local neighborhood groups and connect them to trainers and other groups across the country.
Sarah van Gelder, co-founder of YES! Magazine, says PeoplesHub training will range from general topics – such as how to host an ecstatic meeting and how to navigate conflict – to providing tools for specific areas of change people are working on.
Instead of bottom-up or top-down, the platform promotes lateral connections amongst people who are engaged in social innovations. In this call with Peter Block and John McKnight, Sarah discusses the initial phases of the new online platform and its methodology.
“(The) power that people have in their own communities to get stuff done … if we can unleash that power, we can have a real transformation of this country.” – Sarah van Gelder
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
World-renowned writer, speaker, and activist Parker J. Palmer talks about aging as an asset that is tied in with community development. Parker is co-founder of Center for Courage and Renewal. Parker talks about the need for meaningful, intergenerational activities, where seniors sit with school children or talk with young adults about their vocation and life calling. He shares about periods of struggle in his life and how a friend found a surprising way to provide comfort and connection.
“…this abundance we all have if we’re not afraid of each other, which is the abundance of simple presence to another human being.”
“When our circles gather, we say, rule number one is there shall be no fixing, no saving, no advising, and no correcting each other.”
“It doesn’t matter how old we are, the search for meaning and purpose never ends.”
Listen to the full conversation with Peter Block and John McKnight:
(Parker J. Palmer photo courtesy Center for Courage & Renewal)
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:
Michelle Long, BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies) executive director, shares the story of BALLE’s co-founder Judy Wick, who built the socially responsible White Dog Café in Philadelphia through sourcing based on relationships with the land and people in her community.
Founded in 2001, BALLE (pronounced “bahl-ee”) works with local businesses who want to collaborate for the good of their communities, and helps the communities share ideas in various places in North America.
BALLE formed a Community Foundation Circle for foundation leaders who want to see investments used to strengthen community economies. Traditionally, when a donor gives a community foundation gift, the money is placed as a community grant. People are waking up to using money for impact investments.
Listen to her full conversation with Peter Block and John McKnight:
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…)
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.