A Transition Town group involved in preparations for peak oil and climate change; an intentional community, founded with the highest ideals; a nonprofit dedicated to social change--millions of such voluntary groups exist around the world. These collaborative organizations have the unique potential to harness their members' ideals, passions, skills, and knowledge--if they can succeed in getting along together.
The Empowerment Manual is a comprehensive manual for groups seeking to organize with shared power and bottom-up leadership to foster vision, trust, accountability, and responsibility. This desperately needed toolkit provides keys to:
- Understanding group dynamics
- Facilitating communication and collective decision-making
- Dealing effectively with difficult people.
Drawing on four decades of experience, Starhawk shows how collaborative groups can generate the cooperation, efficacy, and commitment critical to success. Her extensive exploration of group process is woven together with the story of RootBound--a fictional ecovillage mired in conflict--and rounded out with a series of real-life case studies. The included exercises and facilitator toolbox show how to establish the necessary structures, ground rules, and healthy norms. The Empowerment Manual is required reading for anyone who wants to help their group avoid disagreement and disillusionment and become a wellspring of creativity and innovation.
Starhawk is the author of eleven previous books including the award-winning Webs of Power . A highly influential voice for global justice and the environment, she is deeply committed to bringing the creative power of spirituality to political activism.
About the Author
StarHawk is the author of eleven books on earth based spirituality, Goddess religion, and activism, including The Spiral Dance, The Fifth Sacred Thing , and the award-winning Webs of Power . A highly influential voice for global justice and the environment, Starhawk is deeply committed to bringing the creative power of spirituality to political activism. She also teaches Earth Activist Trainings, intensive seminars that combine permaculture design, political organizing, and earth-based spirituality. She writes for the Newsweek/Washington Post blog On Faith as well as her own blog, Dirt Worship . Her website is www.starhawk.org.
Starhawk has stepped forward to help the 99 percent camped in the streets from Syria and Bahrain to New York and London. To have power one needs to discover the ultimate tools of power - the ability to build friendships and to focus group attention on shared goals. This book provides the real formula for empowerment, in earthy detail, from family to village to culture to global movement. - Albert Bates, author The Biochar Solution: Carbon Farming and Climate Change and The Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook: Recipes for Change
It's not easy to meld a sweeping vision with practical steps on how to implement it, but Starhawk has succeeded brilliantly in The Empowerment Manual. Filled with case histories, illustrative stories, and, most importantly, clearly written exercises for honing your collaborative skills, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in building community and truly empowering themselves and others. Toby Hemenway, author of Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture
Strong, sustained leadership at the grassroots is more essential by the minute, given the failure of political and corporate power-holders to stop trashing our world. True social change is a collaborative art. Here's a trove of tips, guidelines, deft strategies and open secrets, that will speed and ease our capacity to work together. It comes to us with Starhawk's signature blend of vast experience, wit, and love for life.
Joanna Macy, author, The Work that Reconnects and co-author, Active Hope: How to Face the Mess we're in Without Going Crazy