community – structure of belonging

community book.png

by Peter Block

on community..


intro’d via sandy:

sandymaxey (@sandymaxey) tweeted at 6:16 AM – 27 Aug 2018 :
“All these developments keep telling us that building community and belonging is going to be our most powerful strategy for ending the displacement and isolation that plague so many corners of our world.” (


“When you reduce people’s isolation, they learn that they are not crazy and there is nothing wrong with them.” Peter Block, author of , describes how the time has come for .

article from aug 2018 – the moment of community has arrived

To restore our connectedness, we need to see clearly the isolation we are part of and begin to connect with and care for the well-being of the people around us.

Community building now seems to be an idea whose time has come. Its promise, though, is not well implemented. When it comes to gatherings, we do not act on what we know. At best we convene a social event, a block party, a reception, with food and music, and then most often huddle with like-minded people. Strangers remain strangers.

perhaps we try ai as augmenting interconnectedness for gathering in a space ness

less about solving problems.. more about cure ios city

The Rochester Health Foundation has an eight-year strategy to reduce major illnesses in the community by organizing residents in vulnerable neighborhoods to make their place better, addressing concerns that would seem to have nothing to do with major diseases. They are investing in projects like neighborhood beautification, community gardens, fixing up distressed buildings, pushing drug traffic out. What does having residents care for their six-block area have to do with fighting cancer, diabetes, heart disease? There is evidence that some of the major determinants of disease are social, relational, communal.

All these developments keep telling us that building community and belonging is going to be our most powerful strategy for ending the displacement and isolation that plague so many corners of our world.

maté basic needs

The challenge in this enterprise is that building community seems too simple. If you choose to shift towards a context of possibility instead of staying with a context of *deficiency, **if connected people are the first order of business, you will discover how simple it is to end people’s isolation. When you reduce people’s isolation, they learn that they are ***not crazy and there is nothing wrong with them. And then can imagine together a future ****distinct from the past.

*block deficiency law

**augmenting interconnectedness


****a nother way


on book:

1st edition in 2008.. 2nd in 2018.. from interview on Peter’s page he said this about 2nd edition:

34 min – nothing is fundamentally new about the new addition.. i tried to make it more accessible..  there’s no reason to buy a second one.. i’m just more confident in these ideas now.. so made it less ambivalent.. pulled out 40 pgs of resources .. better found online now.. ie’s are more clear.. just to make it more accessible.. don’t have to wade through so much ambivalence.. great need for it now.. i didn’t realize that when i wrote first one.. 8-9 yrs ago



this is not about guilt it is about accountability..  citizens in their capacity to come together and choose to be accountable, are our best shot at making a diff

dang.. this accountability piece is just not settling well..

this book is for all who are willing to take a leadership role that affirms the conviction that w/o a willing ness to be accountable for our part in creating a strong and connected community, our desire to reduce suffering and increase happiness in the world becomes infinitely more difficult to fulfill..

i’m thinking it’s that accountability piece that’s making it difficult..


community as used here is about the experience of belonging. we are in community each time we find a place where we belong.. the word belong has 2 meanings.. 1/ to be related to and a part of something.. membership..  being at home.. to know that even in the middle of he night.. that i am among frined..s..  2\ has to do w being an owners.. something belongs to me..  what i consider mind i will build and nurture..  so.. to seek a wider/deeper sense of emotional ownership..  fostering among all of a community’s citizens a sense of ownership and accountability.

belongs can also be thought of as a longing to be.. being in our capacity to find our deeper purpose in all that we do.. it is the capacity to be present, and to discover our authenticity and whole selves..  community is the container w/in which our longing to be if fulfilled..  w/o the connectedness of a  community, we will continue to choose not to be..

my intent in this book is to give defn to ways of structuring the experience of belonging..  it does not have to be left to chance or be dependent on the welcoming nature of others..

intro – the fragmented community and its transformation


the essential challenge is to transform the isolation and self interest w/in our communities into connectedness and caring for the whole..

has to be all of us

we begin by shifting our attention from the problems of community to the possibility of community

key is to accept the importance of *social capital to the life of the community.. this begins the effort to creat a future **distinct from the past

*what we need most: the energy of 7bn alive people

eudaimoniative surplus

**a nother way


it is this dividedness (sectors: school .. work.. church.. govt) that makes it so difficult to create a more positive or alt future.. esp in a culture more into independence that in interdependence.. the work is to overcome this fragmentation

declaration of interdependence

thurman interconnectedness law

the dominant narrative about our cities is that they are unsafe and troubled. those we label ‘homeless’ or ‘ex offenders’ or ‘disabled’ or ‘at risk’ are the most visible people who struggle w belonging, but isolation and apartness is also a wider condition of modern life.. in our gated communities and suburbs and in our urban centers..

label s et al

homeless.. incarceration.. dis order.. crazywise.. et al

in the burbs.. interaction must be scheduled..

filling the need for belonging is not just a personal struggle for connection, but also a community problem., which is our primary concern in this book. the effects of fragmentation of our communities show up in low voter turnout, the struggle to sustain volunteerism, and the large portion of the population who remain disengaged

no.. no.. not voting ..not volunteerism..  what we need to focus on is cure ios city..

dang. shoot. (that sounds like mike butler‘s call out at the end of his hour interview.. dang..)


the struggle is also the reality for the millions of people around the world whoa re part of today’s diaspora – the growing number of displaced people unable to return to the ir homeland, living and raising their children in a *permanent state of transition..

refugee ness..

and rather.. *on hold..  (permanent state of transition .. could be a sign of aliveness)

to belong is to act as an investor, owner and creator of this place..

owner..? investor..?

to feel a sense of belonging will lead us from convos about safety and comfort to .. relatedness and willingness to provide hospitality and generosity. hospitality is the welcoming of stranger, and generosity is an offer w no *expectation of return.. these are two element that we want to nurture as we work to create .. strengthen and restore our communities..  this will not occur in a culture di=ominate dyb isolation and its correlate, fear

neither will it work with ownership and accountability thinking.. those provide that gateway to *expectations of return.. of measuring things in order to exchange things..  poison/cancer/disturbance to an undisturbed ecosystem

hospitality.. w/no strings

what works somewhere else ends up as simply another program here, which might be useful but does not shift the fundamental that we are after..

unless we go deep enough.. ie: the fundamentals of 7bn people.. today.. and ongoingly

the challenge is to think broadly enough to have a theory and methodology that have the power to make a diff, and yet be simple and clear enough to be accessible to anyone who wants to make that diff.. t.. we must translate them (diverse ideas of community) into embarrassingly simple and concrete acts

short: a problem deep enough for 7bn people to resonate w today; a mech simple enough to be accessible/usable by 7bn people today and an ecosystem open enough to set/keep 7bn people free today/ongoingly..

ie: a nother way book.. a nother way via 2 convers.. as infra

too often naive in the belief that if *enough individuals awaken, and become intentional and compassionate beings, the shift in community will follow.. t

perhaps the naivety is in thinking ie: *enough people.. it has to be all people.. to get to meadows undisturbed ecosystem

not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake


the core question, then is this: what is the means thru which those of us who care about the whole community can create a future for ourselves that is not just an improvement, but one of a diff nature from what we now have..t

again.. has to be all of us.. and perhaps listening is the means.. ie: as it could be..

the kind of future we are primarily interested in is the way in which communities.. create a wider sense of belonging among their citizens..t

2 convers.. as infra

this is why we are not focused on individual transformation in this book.. we have already learned that the transformation of *large numbers of individuals does not result in the transformation of communities.. t.. if we continue to invest in individuals as the primary target of change, we will spend our primary energy on this and never fully invest in communities. . in this way .. **individual transformation comes at the cost of community..

*can’t just be large numbers.. won’t work unless it’s all

**and if you focus on community.. it will come at the cost of authenticity

ie: maté trump law

public consensus always oppresses someone(s)

we can do both at once.. both everyday.. 3 min self-talk  30 min community ie: infra

that’s how we may just get at equity.. everyone getting a go.. a do over.. everyday..

community best established in robert putnam’s bowling alone

oh no.. first on frustrating book list

he found a community’s well being simply had to do w the quality of the relationships.. the cohesion that exists among its citizens.. he calls this social capital..

begs each person is themself first.. otherwise we’re just happy about the cohesion of whales in seal world..


to not see the struggle of those on the margin, to think this is the best of all possible worlds or that we are doing fine, esp if our particular street or neighborhood is safe and prosperous, is to live w blinders on..t


jim keene: ‘for every city that prospers, there is another city nearby that is paying the price for that prosperity..t


the question here is not about the nature of the struggles; it is about the nature of the cure.. t

cure ios city

part 1 – the fabric of community


if an artist is one who captures the nuance of experience, then this is whom each of us must become..

well.. we already are.. just need to uncover (or recover) us..


it all comes down to this.. how are we going to be when we gather together..t

in a space

and.. how are we when we’re alone.. otherwise it’s a gathering of ie: whales in sea world

whom do i choose to invite into the room.. what is the convo..  how do we create communal structure..t

probably not lasting/thriving community by invitation.. rather.. 2 convers as infra

individual transformation is not the point; weaving an strengthening the fabric of community is a collective effort and starts from a shift in our mindset about our connectedness

yeah.. so far as – i’m never just me – goes..

but you can’t make this binary.. it’s got to be both at the same time.. it’s got to be a networked individualism.. the individual has to be alive/authentic ongoingly.. and that can’t happen if the focus is.. ie: accountability to a group

1 – insights into transformation


social fabric is created one room at a time.. t

or perhaps.. one cure ios city at a time..

the need for each small step to capture the *aliveness and the need for it to evolve in an **organic way

ie: the energy of 7bn *alive people via **self-talk as data

there is an established method for accomplishing this aliveness that values all voices *in the room.. uses the small group even in large gatherings and recognized that **accountability grows out of the act of cocreation

rather.. *in the city.. and **eudaimoniative surplus (w nothing to prove/account for)


3 insights from john mcknight:

1\ focus on gifts rather than deficiencies..t

block deficiency law

imagining freer/more-energized if focus on daily curiosities rather than gifts


saves time from diagnosis.. analysis.. labeling..  – asset based community development

2\ associational life (rather than system – group of professionals.. org’d and funded): groups of people voluntarily coming together to do some good..  diff between (prof) service.. and (assoc) care

3\ solving problems for selves


werner erhard:

1\ power of language – he believed that a shift in speaking and listening is the essence of transformation.. convos we haven’t had before.. question our values

2 convers.. as infra..  a story about people grokking what matters

2\ power of context – the way we function is powerfully impacted by ‘the way the ‘world shows up for us’.. the way we do this is by changing our relationship w our past.. by  reflection and rethinking.. pay close attention to the constraints of our listening and accept the fact that our stories are our limitation..   creates an opening for a new future to occur

self-talk as data

3\ power of possibility –


robert putnam – social capital.. refers to networks, norms of reciprocity, mutual assistance and trustworthiness..

so.. ugh to reciprocity..  too much measuring.. not humane.. and ugh to trustworthiness.. if you call it that.. you’re talking judgment.. not trust


christopher alexander – speaks to architecture.. but applies to community

1\ aliveness and wholeness.. often found in imperfection

2\ transformation as unfolding..


peter koestenbaum

1\ paradox – he values ambiguity and anxiety as the natural condition of being human.. profound ness of the right question

2\ choosing freedom and accountability – the insight is that freedom is what creates accountaiblity

bishop freedom law – how do i have to be in order for you to be free

but not resonating w accountability ness – because then no one is free


large group methodology – future search; conference model; whole sale change – whole system in the room; world cafe – large question that gets at purpose of the gathering in small groups that constantly change up


key insights from large group

1\ accountability and commitment – the essential insight is that people will be accountable and committed to what they have a hand in creating..

i don’t buy either one.. i think that keeps us from being alive.. from having the bravery to change our mind everyday..  keeps us from the dance of an undisturbed ecosystem

2\ learning from one another – nothing to wait for

3\ bias toward future – spend little or not time negotiating past

4\ how we engage matters – how we structure the gathering is as worthy of attention as grasping the nature of a problem or focusing on the solutions that we seek..

transformation hinges on changing the structure of how ewe engage .. insight that authentic transformation does not occur by focusing on changing individuals..

not changing them.. per se.. rather.. just listening to them.. first.. everyday


david bornstein – small scale, slow growth – well funded.. w clear outcomes.. do not work..

ginorm small ness

allan cohen – emergent design ..the act of predicting the path may be the obstacle to achieving the purpose..


muhammad yunus.. based on gifts.. his bank created teams of borrowers..  four women to a group

muhammad yunus

2 – shifting the context for community


the convos that build relatedness most often occur thru associational life, where citizens show up by choice, and rarely in the context of system life, where citizens show up out of obligation

i’d say rather.. where we show up by daily curiosity.. let’s try those 2 convers


we can think of community as essentially a convo..t

2 convers.. as infra


i am using convo in a broad sense.. includes.. architecture..  et al

to make a diff in our community, we must begin buy naming the existing context and evolving to a way of thinking that leads to new convos that produce a new context. it si the shift in convo that increase social capital.. every time we gather become a model of the future we want to create. if you really get this paragraph, you probably don’t need to read any further

rev of everyday life..making us antifragile


we believe that defining, analyzing, and studying problems is the way to make a better the dominant mindset of western culture..

this context – that life is a set of problems to be solved – may actually limit any chance of the future being diff from the past..  the interest we have in problems is so intense that at some point we take our id from those problems.. w/o them, it seems like we would not know who we are as a community..  many of the strongest advocates for change would lose their sense of id if the change they desire ever occurred

sinclair perpetuation law


trying to solve the symptom only sustains them..t

block deficiency law


this is why therapy and healing is really the process of re remembering the past in a more forgiving way.. the willingness to won up to he fictional nature of our story is where the healing begins..  allows a new story based on restorative community.. one of possibility, generosity , accountability

accountability maybe not

roots of healing

3 – the stuck community


the existing community – we need to realize that what the media reports is a reflection, not the cause of the convo that citizens currently hold

to create a new story, we first need to come to germs w the current one.. this begins by naming it.. the story of the stuck community  can be heard both in dominant public debate and also in what we talk to each other about each day..

a story about people grokking what matters

the overriding characteristic of the stuck community is the decision to broadcast all the reasons we have to be afraid. this kind of advertising that exploits the fear we have of violence, of the urban core of terrorism, of african americans and other ethnic groups, of immigrants of those who are poor or undereducated, of other religions and of other countries,..

i’m adding.. of ‘white ness’.. of people who are rich.. educated.. et al..


what we are hearing is the marketing of fear..the commercialization of suffering for the sake of profit..  it also holds a political agenda.. fear justifies the retributive agenda.. that gives priority to restraints, consequences, and control and underlines the importance of rules..

i would say too.. to accountability.. reward..

it gets packaged as spiritual/family/american values..  under the umbrella of law and order..  it helps build the incarceration industry and protection industry..  it creates a platform so that those in power can expand their power.. it discount the rehabilitation industry..  fear drives much of our legislation..  it also fuels the allure of suburban life..  and is a subtle but clear argument against diversity and inclusion..

in addition to marketing fear, the stuck community markets fault.. blame..

i think accountability is a part of this


there is no insurance policy against the human condition

so why hold people accountable..?


a corollary to more laws is the push for more oversight.. we think that more watching improves performance.. my fav quote on this ‘research causes cancer in rats’.. it is reasonable to understand that the act of oversight may in fact increase the very thing that is being watched w the intent of reducing it.. it provides the argument for monarchy.. someone to watch over me

so does accountability ness


what you see is what you choose to look at..

4 – the restorative community


restorative comes from the choice to value possibility and relatedness over problems, self interest, and the rest of the stuck community’s agenda. it hinges on the accountability chosen by citizens and their willingness to connect w each other around promises they make to each other

promises..? i’d rather have 100 trustassume good ness.. we can’t keep promises.. 1\we’re too messy if alive  2\ relationship grounded in promise makes the promise a middleman..we should get closer.. ie: trustassume good – let go (or a promise to exist)

restoration is created by the kinds of convos we initiate w each other. these convos are the leverage point for an alt future. the core question that underlies each convo is ‘what can we create together?’

i’m thinking it’s less about creating.. more about being.. ie: eudaimonia.. that’s why i think the self convo .. everyday.. should come first.. ie: i don’t want to hang out w the version of you that thinks it’s pleasing me.. i want you to be you.. likewise for myself…. ‘what can we create together’ is much like pbl.. doesn’t get at the thing we can’t not do (our authentic art/offering.. that moment/day)

this is huge

the energy crisis we face is not so much about fossil fuels as it is about the calcified experience that is too often created by the way we hold convos.. t


2 convers.. to awaken/uncover.. the energy of 7bn alive people


the essence of restorative community building is not economic prosperity or the political discourse or the capacity of leadership; it is citizens’ willingness to own up to their contribution, to be humble to choose accountability and to have faith in their own capacity to make authentic promises to create the alt future

dang.. too many strings here.. i’m thinking restoration and ongoing regeneration will come from letting go.. trusting the dance of an undisturbed ecosystem.. ‘own up to contribution.. choose accountability.. authentic promises’  all seem like disturbances.. they don’t seem sustainable or thriving


changes our mindset from valuing what is efficient to valuing the importance of belong..

5 – taking back our projections


the reason i use the word context vs culture is to construct our stance as a matter of choice. culture is a set of shared values that emerges from the history of experience and the story that is produce out of that. it is the past that gives us our id and corrals our behavior in order to preserve that id. context is the way we see the world.. see the world, not remember the world..

we conventionally think that our view of the world is based on history, events, evidence, and this pattern is treated as fact and is decisive. it is called fact but is only a collective memory, which in the glare of the midday sun i would irreverently call fiction..  if this thinking we call context were fact, then it would not be amenable to transformation..

if context were inevitable nd purely based on fact, we would be condemned to live in fear.. if you can entertain the thought that fear is the curriculum of the patriarchal element of our culture, then we can understand that the dominant fear convo is as much a result of marketing and product promotion as it is a response to facts..  in the domain of public safety, for instance, there is little relationship between the crime rate and people’s attitude about danger..  evidence that crime went down  in lat 90s.. but while crime went down.. public’s fear of crime went up..  why? because while crime was going down.. the reporting of crime went up..

here is the point: in the retributive context, fear, fault, dependency on leaders, cynicism, and indifference to associational life act as if they are evidence based. if we are committed to a future distinct form the past, then we treat them as a matter of choice, and we call this context, not culture


projection hides the fact that my view of the ‘other’ is my creation


the projections is the .. conclusions we draw.. and the fact that all we see in them is what is missing.. when we believe that the ‘other’ is the problem and that transformation is required of them and not of us, we become the beneficiaries of their suffering in the world… some of us make a living off of their deficiencies..  if we saw others as another aspect of ourselves, we would welcome them into our midst..

i know you ness

block deficiency law

to continue, as a community, to focus on the needs and deficiencies of the most vulnerable is not an act of hospitably.. it substitutes labeling for welcoming..  it is isolating in that they become a special category of people..  defined by what they cannot do.. we service them.. they become objects..


in cleveland we have spent 110 mn to construct a magnificent freedom center to celebrate the end of slavery. 6 blocks away we have citizens living in very difficult conditions..  and there is a great reluctance to see the relationship between the two.. we sustain a rather negative attitude toward the suffering of people down the street..

john mcknight:  ‘the commercialization of needs’

when the projection is reclaimed and the labels abandoned.. justification disappears and space is created for a welcoming gift oriented restoration


projection sustains itself in the absence of relatedness.. in places where we have no sense of belonging..

communal transformation, taking back pure collective projections, occurs when people get connected to those who were previously strangers..  and when we invite people into convos that ask them to act as creator or owner of community..

if we started the day w self talk.. sued that data to connect people locally per that day’s curiosity/mattering.. we’d be meeting strangers every day.. till we met up w the whole town.. pkg deals and agendas (even ‘what will we create’.. the assumptions that 1\ certain people should come together.. and then that 2\ when together they will create..  killer..

youth have to attend programs in order to be in the building..

? – yuck


the transformation we seek occurs when these tow conditions are created: when we produce deeper relatedness across boundaries, and when we create new convos that focus on the gifts and capacities of other

how about just focus on daily curiosity – that would produce deeper relatedness across boundaries.. curiosity.. our only label.. changing daily..

6 – what it means to be a citizen


if what holds the possibility of an alt future for our community is our capacity to fully come into being as a citizen, then we have to talk about this word citizen.. our defn here is that a citizen is one who is willing to be accountable for and committed to the well being of the whole.. that whole can be a city block, a community, a nation, the earth.. a citizen is one who produces the future, someone who does not wait, beg, or dream for the future

the antithesis of being a citizen is the choice to be a consumer or a client.. via john mcknight..consumers give power away ..allow others to define their needs..  breeding ground for entitlement


the conventional defn of citizenship is concerned w the act of voting and taking a vow to uphold the constitution and laws of a country..  this is narrow and limiting..  citizenship is not about voting or even having a vote.. as if voting ensure democracy.. .. it is certainly a feature of democracy , bu tas fareed zakaria points out  in his book – the future of freedom – the right to vote does not guarantee a civil society or in our terms a restorative one

i’d say constitution ness and rights and voting are disturbances to an undisturbed ecosystem.. a society of eudaimoniative surplus


the step from thinking of ourselves as effect to thinking of ourselves as cause is the act of inversion that creates a culture of citizen accountability.. this is the point upon which accountability revolves..

i’m thinking that if you gather people and have them ask.. what do we want to create.. that’s effect.. and i’m thinking if you base existence (or citizen ness or whatever) on accountability.. that’s effect..

i’m thinking we have to start each day w the individual.. talking just to him/herself.. figuring out what matters most.. that day..  then we facil the day accordingly..

if our only label is our daily curiosity..  and that’s how we connect locally.. we’d end up with strangers possibly everyday.. linked by a like daily curious ness..


free will trumps genetics, culture and parental upbringing..

true.. but we’ve not yet experienced free will.. that would be a good start..


inversion ie’s and implications

i think if we truly inverted.. who instigates things.. so that it was 7bn people everyday.. terms like: audience; performance; boss; leader; warden; citizen; student; teacher; youth; adult; speaker; accountability; et al .. would become irrelevant


anyone who works in the civic arena has a certain cynicism about citizens. ie: how hard it is to get parents involved in school.. people to show up at council/board meetings.. it’s not in the nature of people to be apathetic entitled and complainers

but .. it seems to be in the nature of ie: whales in sea world.. perhaps it’s school.. and meetings.. we should disengage from


commitment and accountability are forever paired, they do not exist w/o each other

i see both as disturbances to an undisturbed ecosystem..  keeping us from being ourselves..

ie: who’s deciding what we should take into account.. when deciding if someone is accountable..


commitment is to chose a path for its own sake (earlier said.. w no expectation of return)

the no expectation of return is spot on.. (ie: no strings).. but if i choose a path.. why can’t i change it tomorrow.. or whenever..? i think in a mindset of commitment.. we become beholden to some idea or project.. and start compromising our fittingness

7 – the transforming community


our explorations to this point lead instead (of individual transformation leading to communal transformation) to the understanding that transformation occurs when ewe focus on the structure of how we gather and the context in which the gathering take place..

again.. i don’t think it’s binary.. curiosity is a way to structure that (wish we could talk)

leaders are held to three tasks: to shift the context w/in which people gather, name the debate thru powerful questions, and listen rather than advocate, defend, or provide answers..t

perhaps.. the key is in not having a debate.. perhaps the key is in listening to the questions on each heart.. first thing.. everyday.. tech as it could be..



book clubs as ie of aggregation of individual .. fall short of goals

more a matter of trying to get a large group to commit to a pkg deal.. no one has tried to get a large group (ie: 7bn people) to commit to internal whimsy.. that might work.. i’m banking on it

the role of leaders i not to be better role models or to drive change; their role is to create the structure s and experiences that bring citizens together to id and solve their own issues..

how about.. just to create an infrastructure.. to listen to 7bn people everyday.. and then use that data to connect people locally..


communal trasnfromation does occur when we accept the following beliefs

1\ focus on structure of how we gather and context in which our gathering take place

from your videos.. i hear small group 4 min then change it up.. et al.. i’m thinking the structure we need has to start w each person talking to themselves.. then connected per that data.. which over time.. would change it up just as much or more.. and each time would be much deeper.. purpose of gathering: shared curiosity that day

2\ work hard on getting the questions right

most important questions are the ones on each person’s heart every morning.. let’s start there.. 2 convers..

ie: your questions are great.. but after a bit.. we’ve heard them.. we need to access questions that never wear out.. curiosity (no end if set free)

3\ choose depth over speed and relatedness over scale.. the question.. ‘what do we want to create together’  implies a long journey crossing social, class an institutional boundaries

but it doesn’t necessarily imply curiosity.. the initial thrill won’t last and then it will require ie: rewards/incentives(a sign you’re doing it wrong)..  ie: pbl


once again, problem solving makes things better, but it cannot change the nature of things. this insight is at the center of all the thinking about complex adaptive systems, emergent design and the organic and self regulating nature of the universe..

unless you get to the root of all problems..  then it would fit right into an undisturbed ecosystem (complex ..emergent.. organic .. self regulating.. et el)


what brings a fresh future into being is citizens who are willing to self org..

indeed.. actually .. freed up to self org.. that’s what our hearts desire/crave.. once we’re detoxed..

an alt future needs the investment of citizens – leaders not in top positions – who are willing to pay the econ and emotional price that creating something really new requires

not today.. we can do better than that today.

we have the means for 7bn can leap to a nother way .. today

therefore, the challenge for every community is not so much to have a vision of what it wants to become, or a plan or specific timetables.. the real challenge is to discover and create *the means for engaging citizens that brings a new possibility into being.. .. the imagination and authorship of citizens led thru a **process of engagement.. this is ***more critical than the vision and the plan

indeed.. let’s try this *2 convers.. as infra

rather.. led thru a **process of curiosity – curiosity first..

***this is can be done w/o vision/plan ness that we’re used to ie: no train

part 2 – the alchemy of belonging

8 – leadership is convening


it requires nothing more than what all of us already have

indeed.. already in us.. no prep.. no train

9 – the small group is the unit of transformation

i don”t think this kind of small .. large.. group ness works

10 – questions are more transforming than answers

i think the question has to come from each person.. every morning..

11 – invitation


in an authentic community, citizens decide anew every single time whether to show up..  of course it makes a difference if people do not show up, but we keep inviting them again and again.. if they do not choose to show up, there are no consequences.. this is what makes volunteer works so maddening is you never know who will show up ..

why are we thinking there’s a place to show up.. and that’s it’s one we’ve picked.. for others to show up to.. why can’t we assume.. where ever any one is.. they are already there..  showing up..

invite to exist.. not to show up

i knew i liked/resonated with being found/invited to exist.. per Gabor Mate‘s description of attachment. but i was struggling with the word invited. do i not exist unless i am invited? what if i don’t want to be invited to your party.. or any party.. (this brings to mind/heart the it is me ness)

during rhizo14 w2, for some reason, terry elliott’s post/kevin hodgson’s comment edged a synapse for me… so taking note of it here..

my unresolve had to do with the feel that (all of life really – but esp lately with tech and changes in ed ness) everyone is trying to create THE platform/party.. so they can invite everyone to it. – host ness

why are we doing that. why do we feel the urge to host. to be THE one. and to make sure everyone likes our party. (this also makes me think of an important element of play – the option to quit. which naturally/inherently makes the game more rich/fair/empathetic to all – if you want people to keep playing.)

rather than thinking we’re inviting everyone to a party.. perhaps the way to make us all free.. is more along the lines of inviting everyone to exist.. to be.. to be their own platform ish.. at my house/your house/alone/together/24/7/all of the above.. but always about you as a person .. being found/invited to exist – as you.. be you ..


the decision about whom to invite is an act of leadership that in and of itself carries a message. many we invite will choose not to come..

i don’t get any of this invite ness

12 – the possibility, ownership, dissent, commitment, and gifts conversations

these last few chapters sound so much like pd for school and school

13 – bringing hospitality into the world


greet people at door.. eat

again. sounds like ed pd – gearing us up for group work that kids will love

14 – designing physical space that support community


sit in circles.. conference rooms, auditoriums.. classrooms.. reception areas.. hallways.. cafeterias..

i recommend in the city.. as the day..

15 – the end of unnecessary suffering


human services relate to citizens thru diagnostic categories.. via needs/deficiencies.. perhaps we should develop diagnostic categories for people’s gifts.. right now we have only crude positive labels: hs grad, econ status, size of family, job experience. suppose we named people in categories such as: a connector; knows everyone; street leve entrepeneur; fashion..

how about we just label everyone everyday w that day’s curiosity


mike butler – mike has been inventing community policing for a couple of decades. he runs the police dept in longmont co..  which s based on the insight that safety comes from building a strong community.. w law and order as a backup strategy.. here is a recent note from him that gives a hint at what he is up to: ‘our local restorative justice project has evolved to a whole diff level.. we are on the front end of turning our criminal justice system in our area into a restorative justice system..


and dan

to belong rev – perhaps a quiet rev


great insight/heart – but also frustrating..(ie: accountability ness.. inviting/forming ness of gatherings.. et al)


as it could be..

2 convers.. as infra

ie: hlb via 2 convers that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way

the energy of 7bn alive people

undisturbed ecosystem

in the city.. as the day..

gershenfeld something else law