Activating the Common Good: Reclaiming Control of Our Collective Well-Being (Hardcover)

Activating the Common Good: Reclaiming Control of Our Collective Well-Being By Peter Block Cover Image

Activating the Common Good: Reclaiming Control of Our Collective Well-Being (Hardcover)


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A powerful, inspiring, and achievable vision of a society based on cooperation and community instead of competition and commodification.

This book counters the dominant and destructive story that we are polarized, violent, selfish, and destined to consume everything in sight. That is not who we are.

The challenge, Peter Block says, is that we are suffering under an economic theology that is based on scarcity, self-interest, competition, and infinite growth. We’re told we can purchase and outsource all that matters. Block calls this the “business perspective narrative.” It dominates not only the economy but also architecture, faith communities, journalism, arts, neighborhoods, and much more.

Block offers an antidote: the “common good narrative.” It embodies the belief that we are basically communal and cooperative. And that we have the capacity to communally produce what we care most about: raising a child, safety, livelihood, health, and a clean and sustainable environment.

This book describes how shifts to the common good perspective could transform many areas, fostering journalism that reports on what works, architecture that designs habitable spaces creating connection, faith collectives that build community, a market that is restrained and local, and leadership and activism that build social capital by creating trust among citizens. With these shifts, we would fundamentally change the world we live in for the better.
Peter Block is an author and citizen of Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the cofounder of Designed Learning, a training company that offers workshops designed to build the skills outlined in his books. Peter is a founder of the Common Good Collective, is part of the Common Good Alliance of Greater Cincinnati, and was a member of his local neighborhood council. He serves on the board of LivePerson, a provider of online engagement solutions. His books include Flawless Consulting, Stewardship, The Answer to How Is Yes, Community, and The Abundant Community.
Product Details ISBN: 9781523005963
ISBN-10: 1523005963
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Publication Date: November 28th, 2023
Pages: 192
Language: English
“I am so moved by Peter’s bold, generous, and insistently confronting work. This book is an abundant expression of his lifelong dedication to learning how to ground his clarity and vision in the rich soil of community.”
—Margaret Wheatley, author of ten books, including Leadership and the New Science and Who Do We Choose to Be?
“Peter understands that faith communities are vital associations in neighborhoods. Activating the Common Good is an instant and essential resource for my work with neighborhood churches and the broader movement for relational activism.”
—Nicholas Tangen, Director of Faith Practices and Neighboring Practices, Minneapolis Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
“To protect nature, we must connect with one another. Peter Block’s new book describes a form of activism that we can all get behind. ‘Relational activism’ is a balm in a beleaguered world.”
—Connie O’Connor, Director of Applied Learning, Cincinnati Nature Center
“Peter shows us how to focus on what’s actually changeable. As someone using group methods to address wicked problems too complex for those at the top to solve, this work helps me see the essentials of the common good that I can cultivate in my community.”
—Cathy Berkey, cocreator and Director, The Big Table, Louisville, Kentucky
“This work has the potential to awaken the power of the collective.”
—Kim Fulbright, founder of Regenerative Relationships, Inc.
“Peter Block articulates in this book a refreshing theory of change. Find neighbors, dream about the world you want, and create powerful new alternatives.”
—Michael H. Shuman, Publisher, Main Street Journal