Chronicling the Bottom Up
Connection Revolution

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The Abundant Community; John McKnight & Peter Block; Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods

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Broadcast 8/25/2010 at 21:24:10 (0 Listens, 0 Downloads, 0 Itunes)
The Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show Podcast

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Author Bios
John McKnight is emeritus professor of education and social policy and co-director of the Asset-Based Community Development
Institute at Northwestern University. He is the co-author of Building Communities from the Inside Out and the author of The Careless Society. He has been a community organizer and serves on the boards of several national organizations that support neighborhood development.

Peter Block is an author and citizen of Cincinnati, Ohio. He is a partner in Designed Learning, a training company that offers workshops designed to build the skills outlined in his books. He is the author of Flawless Consulting, Stewardship, The Answer to How Is Yes, and Community: The Structure of Belonging.

Notes from the interview:
The Abundant Community
John McKnight and Peter Block

The purpose of a consumer is to get you to think that you need more-- it's never satisfying,

The alternative is a life that is satisfying-- that comes from things that we do together outside the market, ouside of buying things,
We've given too much away with the idea that institutions can provide the good life

What makes a good life

A consumer is someone who believes that the good life is produced by somone else
a citizen believes that the good life is created by

Our society was not made by universities and corporations it was made by citizens
power to envision a future and join together in creating the future

The economic belief system we have now is grow or die-- I would call it colonialism-- the acquisition of other states or people-- will help you Export our culture As soon as scale matters, then you look for replicable, Standardization--- we're all replaceable,

Diversity is not about race it's about living in a world of not like-minded people
Schools substitute performance for learning Colonial act that certain types of performance of

Trying to find conditions under which our humanity is restored,

When a scale is larger in a group of people that is larger than the nuber of people who know each other and their uniqueness, you ar beginning to institutionalize. It's almost a physics of community.

You begin to move to institutionalization

Difference between service and care, There's no limit on the amount of care, but there is a limit on the amount of service available,

EVery tyranny allows people to be a consumer. What you can't be in a tyranny is to act together with your neighbors to envision and create a future,

Real distinction of a democratic society has to do with your power to define and produce the future,

The systems have become warm and loving but also infantilizing

I would not call this a financial economic crisis. THat assumes that this will pass,
Olivia Saunders economist , Herman Daley, U of Louisiana,
New Economy institute

P 31

85-90% of our health is not determined by health insurance-- it's about us and our communities,

The news that builds community directly i the news about whose birthday is coming up this week, who's out sick on the block-- a medium that provides that kind of information is community building

It could function as a block website,

the queston is scale and the nature of information that people think about that is news,

There are some neighborhoods that have very effective local information, like who has clothes that their kids have outworn that wold be good for the kids on the block, who's sick-- all kinds of connective small scale information,

There's no substitute for the spoken word at the local level,
Every city has a website for every neighborhood, but many don't populate them.

There's one goodnewssouthafrica that's changing the conversation--

The print media are these hyperlocal ones serving 20-30,000 people


the key thing with news is to talk about what is working in the world

small town newspapers are by and large, doing well Why, because they are letting people know about the

they're covering the bottom,

How does technology become a tool for building relationships, connectedness,


But the web is risky if it becomes this thing in itself,

When we you think that a comunity can be created electronically, not face to face,
The functions can't be fulfilled electrically

there are three basic tools -- bacis bilding blocks for recovery of community

first-- prinicipal value is in the gifts, skills, capacities and knowledge of our local neighbors-- first step is to find out what those gifts are and the willingness of those people to share

basic power of association-- any time we connect these gifts, knowledge and abilities we are using our power of association to multiply our capacities

3rd-- Hospitality-- the ability to welcome everybody, all of their gifts and capacities and to be welcoming to people on the outside-- the welcoming of strangers-- within or on the edge of our community.

A weak community says hey, we don't want you to come in here, we're fearful of you.

Connectors reach out and identify gifts and create and build associations and relationships, kind of similar to connectors in the book, The Tipping Point

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Rob Kall is the host of the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, WNJC 1360, where he discusses how the bottom up mind and bottom up revolution are reaching different areas of the world, of life, of politics, business, society and anywhere else.

Rob is founder and site architect of (more...)

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