It’s almost Christmas. Looking for a book to gift someone with? Maybe a little something on self-organization? Great! I’ve got a couple of suggestions. I introduce them in this video (click here if you can’t see it), and have a bit more to say as well…
The Abundant Community
Authored by John McKnight and Peter Block, this book (The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighbourhoods) offers up that our neighbourhoods are the primary source of our health, in all forms, economic, environmental, and social. Through the giving of gifts we each possess, our abundance, coming together, associating around common interests, connecting, self-organizing, and making even the outsider feel welcome, we can build local places where the citizen is empowered, and the influence of institutions is diminished. Basically, the premise is we have what we need, in our own local places, and it is enough to live a satisfied life, in relation with others.
I really liked the way this book was written. It takes the residue of experience of these experts in the field of community development, and presents their ideas and how-to’s, in clear and highly accessible ways. Their passion shines through.
Authored by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams, this book (Macrowikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World) is a follow-up book to Wikinomics (by the same authors). Building on their 5 principles of wikinomics; collaboration, openness, sharing, integrity, and interdependence, the authors show how social networking is becoming social production, where self-organizing groups of peers can design and produce everything from software to motorcycles. Drawing on their global business networks, the authors provide scores of cool examples (and some future olive branches); e.g., microfactories, virtual collaboratories, alternate reality games driving positive real-world changes in behaviour, personal/household carbon allowances, patient-centric health care, youth-driven media, citizen as regulator, and much more.
Although the focus is on business, a current that runs through this book is the world will be a better place if it is more egalitarian, and people are connected and working together in ways that benefit all citizens, and the environment, in addition to the economy.
These books offer different perspectives on living in community, and social innovation. One is locally-focused, the other has global focus. Each set of authors have different sensibilities on the future. Yet, in the end, both are optimistic. Both have found their place. Good readings.
What book is on your must have collaboration/community reading list?
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