Reclaiming Control of Our Collective Well-Being
By Peter Block
A powerful, surprising, 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 equally communal and cooperative. And that we have the capacity to collectively 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.
When it comes to what we all care about, whether it be organizational change, social well-being, environmental protection, economic justice, faith, or education, the first step to achieving positive change is to connect with others. As Peter Block says, “The relationship is the delivery system for anything we are trying to accomplish.”
Sign up today for Skills for Activating the Common Good: A Learning Track for Relational Activists to learn how to implement common good protocols in 1-on-1 relationships, group meetings, and settings where trust is low.
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DISCUSSION GUIDE, PAMPHLETS, COLUMNS, AND INVITATIONS CURATED BY PETER BLOCK
Sign up to stay up to date on all the ways that you can be engaged with others around the ideas expressed in Activating the Common Good. Get started with a discussion guide that captures the core ideas in the book and offers questions that you can use- in all the ways that you can imagine: book clubs, team discussions, community groups, social service, training programs, etc.
a new narrative
for the common good
“Our well-being cannot be purchased or healed by more professionals or programs. What we have and what we are is enough. Economically. Politically. Socially. Personally.
This is the foundation of the common good narrative.“— Peter Block, Author