Community 2

The Structure of Belonging

Peter Block (Author)

Publication date: 07/17/2018

Community
Community The Structure of Belonging, Second Edition As a response to the increasing violence in our culture, the widening ideological divides, and the growing gap in economic well-being, there is greater awareness that a deeper sense of community is desperately needed. But even as we acknowledge the need to build community, the dominant on-the-ground practices about how to engage people, civically and organizationally, remain essentially unchanged. We still believe community is built with better messaging, more persuasion, and social events for people to get to know each other better. All of which is na ve. This is why Peter Block was moved to create an updated edition of his classic book on restoring a sense of common purpose to our neighborhoods, communities, and institutions. Block helps us see how we can change the existing context of community from one of deficiencies, interests, and entitlement to one of possibility, generosity, and gifts. As he explores the nature of community and the dynamics of transformation, he outlines six kinds of conversation that will create communal accountability and commitment and even describes how we can design physical spaces and structures that will themselves foster a sense of belonging. In this new edition, Block draws on a decade of putting these ideas into practice to emphasize what has worked and extract those thoughts that were nice but had no durability. He explores how technology, instead of bringing us together, has driven us into more isolation. New examples show that community building can be a more powerful way to address social problems than more traditional policies and programs. And encouragingly, Block insists this is really simple, once we decide it is essential. He offers a way of thinking that creates an opening for authentic communities to exist and details what each of us can do to make that happen.

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Community The Structure of Belonging, Second Edition As a response to the increasing violence in our culture, the widening ideological divides, and the growing gap in economic well-being, there is greater awareness that a deeper sense of community is desperately needed. But even as we acknowledge the need to build community, the dominant on-the-ground practices about how to engage people, civically and organizationally, remain essentially unchanged. We still believe community is built with better messaging, more persuasion, and social events for people to get to know each other better. All of which is na ve. This is why Peter Block was moved to create an updated edition of his classic book on restoring a sense of common purpose to our neighborhoods, communities, and institutions. Block helps us see how we can change the existing context of community from one of deficiencies, interests, and entitlement to one of possibility, generosity, and gifts. As he explores the nature of community and the dynamics of transformation, he outlines six kinds of conversation that will create communal accountability and commitment and even describes how we can design physical spaces and structures that will themselves foster a sense of belonging. In this new edition, Block draws on a decade of putting these ideas into practice to emphasize what has worked and extract those thoughts that were nice but had no durability. He explores how technology, instead of bringing us together, has driven us into more isolation. New examples show that community building can be a more powerful way to address social problems than more traditional policies and programs. And encouragingly, Block insists this is really simple, once we decide it is essential. He offers a way of thinking that creates an opening for authentic communities to exist and details what each of us can do to make that happen.

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Peter Block

Peter Block is an author, consultant and citizen of Cincinnati, Ohio. His work is about empowerment, stewardship, chosen accountability, and the reconciliation of community. Peter is the author of several bestselling books, the most widely known of which are Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used (1st edition 1980, 2nd edition 1999); Stewardship: Choosing Service Over Self-Interest (1993) and The Empowered Manager: Positive Political Skills at Work (1987). Peter is the recipient of the Organization Development Network's 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2004 he received their first place Members’ Choice Award, which recognized Flawless Consulting as the most influential book for OD practitioners over the past 40 years.

In 2008, Community: The Structure of Belonging was published, and his latest book, The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighbhoods, co-authored with John McKnight, was released in May 2010.

He has also authored Flawless Consulting Fieldbook & Companion: A Guide to Understanding Your Expertise (2000). The Answer to How Is Yes: Acting on What Matters (2002) won that year's Independent Book Publisher Book Award for Business Breakthrough Book of the Year. Freedom and Accountability at Work: Applying Philosophic Insight to the Real World was co-authored with consultant and philosopher Peter Koestenbaum (2001).

The books are about ways to create workplaces and communities that work for all. They offer an alternative to the patriarchal beliefs that dominate our culture. His work is to bring change into the world through consent and connectedness rather than through mandate and force.

He is a partner in Designed Learning, a training company that offers workshops designed by Peter to build the skills outlined in his books. He received a Masters Degree in Industrial Administration from Yale University in 1963; he performed his undergraduate work at the University of Kansas.

Peter serves on the Board of Directors of Cincinnati Classical Public Radio and Elementz Hip Hop Center in Cincinnati. Peter is on the Advisory Board for the Festival in the Workplace Institute, Bahamas. With other volunteers, Peter began A Small Group, whose work is to create a new community narrative and to bring his work on civic engagement into being.

He has received national awards for outstanding contributions in the field of training and development, including the American Society for Training and Development Award for Distinguished Contributions; the Association for Quality and Participation President’s Award; and Training Magazine HRD Hall of Fame.

Peter welcomes being contacted at [email protected].  Also visit Abundant Community website.

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