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Please join me in welcoming Jim Gruber, author of Building Community: 12 Principles for a Healthy Future!





Read the review of the Building Community here!

 


Jim Gruber will be hanging out in the forums until this Friday answering questions and sharing his experiences with you all.

At the end of this week, we'll make a drawing for 4 lucky winners to win a copy of Building Community From now until Friday, all new posts in the City Repair forum are eligible to win.
 
To win, you must use a name that follows our naming policy and you must have your email set up to receive the Daily-ish email. Higher quality posts are weighed more highly than posts that just say, "Wow, that's really cool! I want to win!"

When the four winners are selected, they will be announced in this thread and their email address will be sent to the publisher, and the publisher will sort out the delivery details with the winners.

Please remember that we favour perennial discussion.  The threads you start will last beyond the event.  You don't need to use Jim Gruber's name to get his attention. We like these threads to be accessible to everyone, and some people may not post their experiences if the thread is directed to the author alone.
 

Posts in this thread won't count as an entry to win the tool, but please say "Hi!" to Jim Gruber and make him feel welcome!
COMMENTS:
 
pollinator
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Welcome! This is a very interesting topic for me. Looking forward to reading the review, and hopefully the book too. :)
 
author
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I am pleased to have my book on the City Form of Permies.  In particular, I will greatly appreciate your questions and comments on Building Community - Twelve Principles for a Heathy Future.  I will be responding to feedback and questions throughout this week.  
Best,  Jim Gruber
 
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Hi Jim, thanks for joining us and welcome to Permies!
 
master steward
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Welcome, Jim!

I am looking forward to reading everyone's questions and seeing the answers.
 
Jim Gruber
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There appears to be two threads on the book, Building Community.  I will repeat a note I just posted to the other thread....

With the COVID-19 challenges in our lives and our communities, the BLM protests that are raising awareness of critical issues of systemic racism in the US (and other parts of the world), and the caustic politics that are now permeating into our local community, I think this is the time to start re-building our communities from the ground up.  The underpinnings values of permaculture/permies I believe is directly in-line with the principles of the book that I and 25 colleagues just completed titled:  Building Community- Twelve Principles for a Healthy Future.  I would love your feedback from reviewing excerpts available on this site and on my book web page: https://buildingcommunity12principles.squarespace.com/

I will be joining your City Repair forum this week and hope to answer any question your may have and hear your thoughts on this 2 year writing efforts with contributing authors from around the world.   We are all seeking healthier and more sustainable communities!

Jim
 
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Jim Gruber wrote:I am pleased to have my book on the City Form of Permies.  In particular, I will greatly appreciate your questions and comments on Building Community - Twelve Principles for a Heathy Future.  I will be responding to feedback and questions throughout this week.  
Best,  Jim Gruber



Hi, I am very interested in this subjecct.  I live in a very unusual community that wants to stay rural, lots of fallow conventionally farmed lands, but is within the sphere of influence of Silicon Valley.  Is there a way that we can make this a sustainable reegerative agricultural paradise?

 
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Welcome. I'm new to permaculture. Live in SE Colorado, a desert area, in an unincorporated village. Interested in building community in this area.
 
master pollinator
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Hi Jim.
Building community, that's one of the most important parts of Permaculture, in my opinion!
 
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Hello, I am new to this community. How fitting. I am excited to learn more about permaculture, as well as forming communities. As per observation, it appears that forming communities is directly tied into the herd nature of Humans. Building communities to share food, water, ideas, knowledge, to increase odds of hunting etc. is likely what lead to our survival. It now is an essential part of meeting psychological needs.

Anyway, excited to be a new member and looking forward to whats to come!
 
Jim Gruber
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Dado Scooter wrote:

Jim Gruber wrote:I am pleased to have my book on the City Form of Permies.  In particular, I will greatly appreciate your questions and comments on Building Community - Twelve Principles for a Heathy Future.  I will be responding to feedback and questions throughout this week.  
Best,  Jim Gruber



Hi, I am very interested in this subjecct.  I live in a very unusual community that wants to stay rural, lots of fallow conventionally farmed lands, but is within the sphere of influence of Silicon Valley.  Is there a way that we can make this a sustainable reegerative agricultural paradise?


Dado,

You asked how to make your community a "sustainable reegenative agricultural paradise" that is within the (economic-social) influence of Silicon Valley.   This is a critical question that applies (in different ways) to so many other places in the US and around the world.   Many of the 12 principles apply to many pro-active change process that includes seeking and moving towards a shared, sustainable vision for the future.    One that jumps out to me is the "Decide Together"  (Principle J) , Protect Resources and Promote Fairness (Prin. C) and Involve Everyone (Prin. A).  These are described on the books website:   https://buildingcommunity12principles.squarespace.com/

This is important but not easy work and requires practicing adaptive leadership (Prin. I).  You will fine some of the case studies illustrate this type of change process.

Let me know if this is of any help.

Jim
 
Jim Gruber
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:Hi Jim.
Building community, that's one of the most important parts of Permaculture, in my opinion!



Inge

Yes...I have also found that building an inclusive community is the foundation for Permaculture.   Without a foundation that includes trusts, respective, inclusion, and caring....very little else can be accomplished.  You may be interested in Principe:   on Strengthen the Foundation of a community (Principle K).    You can read more about this on my book's webpage: https://buildingcommunity12principles.squarespace.com/



Jim
 
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Welcome Jim! After looking through the book excerpt, I have a question. When I think of building things it always starts with a strong foundation and yet the Principle of 'Strengthen the Foundation' is not mentioned until 'K' which seems a little late in the process of building something. Conversely, in Figure 1.3 the 'Strengthen the Foundation' - K principle is dead center and at the base of the Principles. Was this by design? Can you provide any additional insight?
 
Jim Gruber
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Mary Haasch wrote:Welcome Jim! After looking through the book excerpt, I have a question. When I think of building things it always starts with a strong foundation and yet the Principle of 'Strengthen the Foundation' is not mentioned until 'K' which seems a little late in the process of building something. Conversely, in Figure 1.3 the 'Strengthen the Foundation' - K principle is dead center and at the base of the Principles. Was this by design? Can you provide any additional insight?



Mary,

Thank you for your questions.  I am appreciate that you have found that strengthening the foundation is critical in supporting positive change processes. I have also found this to be the case and is usually a very early on effort.   The Principles are not in any sequential order (and that is why they do not have numbers...because people like to follow the numbers in order!)  What I have found is that groups and organizations have different challenges or are at different points in their evolution or change processes.  Yes... Principle K is typically early in building (or re-building) community groups towards a more sustainable and healthy future.  However,  the principles: "Involving Everyone" and "Work Together" and others such as how leadership is practiced are also sometime starting points when I have worked with a group.   We have found that the foundation is strengthened by their leaders earning trust, becoming more transparent, resolving previous conflicts, etc.   In chapter 14 I provide a 10 step collaborative planning approach with a proposed sequence that starts with listening and a collaborative process for creating a shared vision.    There is also a community assessment process that could help identify the greatest challenges.  This assessment process is not in the book but on this book's website https://buildingcommunity12principles.squarespace.com/.    I hope I answered your questions.

Best,

Jim

PS. It was a (fortunate) accident that Strengthening the Foundation is located on the bottom - center in Figure 1.3!   Thanks for pointing this out!
 
Mary Haasch
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 There is also a community assessment process that could help identify the greatest challenges.  This assessment process is not in the book but on this book's website https://buildingcommunity12principles.squarespace.com/.    I hope I answered your questions.


PS. It was a (fortunate) accident that Strengthening the Foundation is located on the bottom - center in Figure 1.3!   Thanks for pointing this out!



Jim

Thank you for the great and quick reply and the link to the book's website.

The Community Assessment should prove very useful especially for a motivated community. I see your points that this isn't a build from scratch situation in which the foundation being built first before other activities is paramount, plus the distinction of "strengthening" the existing foundation as the basis for Principle K. Those perspectives do answer my questions and you're most welcome, I'm glad that Principle K in Figure 1.3 is a fortunate/happy accident.

Cheers,
Mary
 
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Welcome Jim. That is a very important topic, thank you for bringing your book to the world and congratulations.

What I read in your excerpts and on your website I do fully agree with and have implemented (to the best of my understanding without having read the rest of your book) in my own communities.

I think the issue I have had the most problem with is the slackers. They are often the most involved and helpful in meetings, planning, often want to be the ones in charge but seem to fall short when it comes to doing any of the real work. Unfortunately, others get tired of doing those peoples share of the work and then tend to fall into their habits, but I have found that many of the principals you mention will rally most back into action. They have varied in specific habits and excuses, but always insist they want to be a part of the community, sometimes they are spouses, siblings, or children of helpful active members.

Though I have never found an ideal solution for dealing with the people who are lazy, nor have the other community leaders. (unfortunately I believe being lazy is something most humans have to fight against. I do not want to do all the work that I do, I just feel I must or I cannot properly relax during the moments of peace I allow myself. Some people however are quite content to let everyone else do the work.) What are your suggestions? Because in my experience, they have been the single biggest challenge to productive and healthy community building.

Thank you so much for your time and expertise. I hope your book helps many get onto the right track with their communities.
 
Jim Gruber
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Aimee Hall wrote:Welcome Jim. That is a very important topic, thank you for bringing your book to the world and congratulations.

What I read in your excerpts and on your website I do fully agree with and have implemented (to the best of my understanding without having read the rest of your book) in my own communities.

I think the issue I have had the most problem with is the slackers. They are often the most involved and helpful in meetings, planning, often want to be the ones in charge but seem to fall short when it comes to doing any of the real work. Unfortunately, others get tired of doing those peoples share of the work and then tend to fall into their habits, but I have found that many of the principals you mention will rally most back into action. They have varied in specific habits and excuses, but always insist they want to be a part of the community, sometimes they are spouses, siblings, or children of helpful active members.

Though I have never found an ideal solution for dealing with the people who are lazy, nor have the other community leaders. (unfortunately I believe being lazy is something most humans have to fight against. I do not want to do all the work that I do, I just feel I must or I cannot properly relax during the moments of peace I allow myself. Some people however are quite content to let everyone else do the work.) What are your suggestions? Because in my experience, they have been the single biggest challenge to productive and healthy community building.

Thank you so much for your time and expertise. I hope your book helps many get onto the right track with their communities.





Aimee,

Thank you for your comments and sharing your challenges.   Yes...these issues of a few people carrying most of the load is common and a few people, like you, finally get exhausted and discouraged without broader support from others.   I do not have a magic wand to address this challenge but can refer you to some concepts by Ron Heifetz on a leadership approach (and other practitioners) in Chapter 10 (Principle I: Practice Leadership ... Practice Adaptive Leadership and Co-Management).  Also, building broader positive community norms...where the social expectations of the full group is clear (see chapter 12 Strengthen the Foundation for examples).  Clearly, some people have for stronger skill and motivation than others.  I have found that trying to find a role (job) for those with limited capacity is also critical.  I once developed, with a broad community group and 1000s of volunteers, a new recycling & composting center in Vermont.   One limited person was angry and felt left out.  We thought...what could this person do to contribute to a major celebration of the opening of the new center?  Well, we asked him to hep direct cars to the parking areas.  He was so happy to have a role, he became a strong supporter of this new center.    I hope this is helpful.

Keep up the good work.

Jim
 
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Jim Gruber wrote:[ I have found that trying to find a role (job) for those with limited capacity is also critical.  I once developed, with a broad community group and 1000s of volunteers, a new recycling & composting center in Vermont.   One limited person was angry and felt left out.  We thought...what could this person do to contribute to a major celebration of the opening of the new center?  Well, we asked him to hep direct cars to the parking areas.  He was so happy to have a role, he became a strong supporter of this new center.  



This is such an excellent point.  I've found this concept to be a huge part of the solution to sticky situations, as well.  Thanks for sharing.  Welcome to Permies and thanks for being available for people's questions!
 
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 I have found that trying to find a role (job) for those with limited capacity is also critical.



Clearest example of that I can think of was in Japan. Older citizens were given a meaningful but not taxing job to do, like cleaning the handrails at an attraction, so that they could continue to feel useful, bring in an earned wage and retain a purpose with a feeling of worthiness. I think most people are happiest when helping others.
 
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Welcome Jim. Timely subject given how poorly many of our communities have been handling this health crisis.

Looking forward to reviewing the book.
 
Jim Gruber
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David Trammel wrote:Welcome Jim. Timely subject given how poorly many of our communities have been handling this health crisis.

Looking forward to reviewing the book.



David,

Yes...this has been a very sad affair on facing COVID-19 health crisis.   I think it shows the under-belly of a system that favors those with money and power and ignores the others.   My hope is that what I learned from communities that were healthy from the perspective of equitably sharing resources, promoting real transparency, making decision collaboratively, and working togethering for the good of all...including the ecological systems on which we are all dependent...could be applied to our own communities.    I particularly appreciate the African proverb that I quote ...."If you wish to go fast...go alone,  If you wish to go far...go together."


Jim
 
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We have some winners!

Congratulations!

T Blankinship
Joshua Myrvaagnes
Anne Pratt
Susan Dobbins


We'll be sending the publisher your email address so they can arrange shipment of your book--please keep an eye on your inbox for a message from New Society Publications! And, thank you, Jim Gruber for joining us this week!

If you're bummed that you didn't win Jim's book, have no fear! You can buy it right here!
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