Category Archives: Books

Kingian Nonviolence Book Club – The Trumpet of Conscience

Trumpets of ConscienceThis week in the Kingian Nonviolence Book Club, we discussed The Trumpet of Conscience. It was a fascinated discussion and it became very clear how prescient Dr. King was in recognizing social problems and ills that were emerging and on the horizon during his times. On the one hand, this book was inspiring in that he does provide creative ideas and motivation for addressing these problems. On the other hand, it was clear that not enough people have read Dr. King’s words or taken his ideas to heart since many of the problems he identified over 50 years ago have only gotten worse. Continue reading to see the questions we discussed and excerpts from the book that speak to those questions.

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Key Insights from Clay Shirky’s Book, “Cognitive Surplus”

Imagine treating the free time of the world’s educated citizenry as an aggregate, a kind of cognitive surplus…One thing that makes the current age remarkable is that we can now treat free time as a general social asset that can be harnessed for large, communally created projects, rather than as a set of individual minutes to be whiled away one person at a time.

…young populations with access to fast, interactive media are shifting their behavior away from media that presupposes pure consumption.

The social uses of our new media tools have been a big surprise, in part because the possibility of these uses wasn’t implicit in the tools themselves…the use of social technology is much less determined by the tool itself; when we use a network, the most important asset we get is access to one another.  We want to be connected to one another, a desire that the social surrogate of television deflects, but one that our use of social media actually engages.

Access to cheap, flexible tools removes many of the barriers to trying new things.  You don’t need fancy computers to harness cognitive surplus; simple phones are enough.

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Key Insights from George Lakey’s book, “Facilitating Group Learning”

I recently finished reading George Lakey’s new book, Facilitating Group Learning: Strategies for Success with Diverse Adult Learners.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book because it provides a clear description and examples of what experiential education, or what Lakey calls direct education, is and entails.  Having been an experiential educator for several years now, Lakey and his colleagues at Training for Change, have become a real source of learning for me and my work.  Below are several key insights from the book:

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