Community: The Structure of Belonging - Best Practice Institute
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Community: The Structure of Belonging

Presenter: Peter Block, Member, A Small Group


We are in the business of learning, not teaching or training. All learning and change require a community to sustain it. Learning is a social phenomenon first and content/clarity second. Community, and a sense of belonging, is created by bringing a cross section of the community into a new conversation. If we maintain the old conversations about making the world predictable, measurable, individual focused and leader driven, nothing will change.

The work is to overcome the culture of isolation, fear, and waiting for the leaders to get their act together. This occurs when we shift the conversation from problem solving to possibility, deficiencies and needs to gifts, and blame and barter to ownership and commitment. Peter’s session will be a demonstration of its theory, so the tools of communal transformation will be in the experience.

Peter will define a form of leadership that depends on listening, convening, invitation, and the triumph of questions over answers. This session will minimize PowerPoint and maximize experience. No small task in a world of speed, efficiency, and fast food. This is a shift in the ecology of gathering as the way to sustain healthy culture, high performance, and a carbon free way of being together. All this requires a shift in thinking. He will explore a way of thinking about our places (workplaces, neighborhoods, towns) that creates an opening for authentic communities to exist and will discuss what we can do to make that happen. Learn powerful conversations that will shift the focus to engagement and possibility, leading to the creation of a new future. The essence is to take a step forward in our thinking and design about the ways people in communities come together to produce something new for themselves.

What Will You Learn

•Understand the conditions under which transformation can occur.
•Define leadership as listening, convening, invitation, and the triumph of questions over answers.
•Understand the importance of community and how it is created.
•Demonstrate in this session the principles of community being discussed.
•Ways to design gatherings so that transformation can occur
•Learn conversations that will lead toward a future different from the past

Who Will Participate

Peter's talks are of interest to anyone, at any level, interested in changing the way groups come together. These are citizens in communities, managers and employees in corporations, local government officials and volunteers


Peter Block

Member, A Small Group

Access Resource

60 Minutes