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The Art of Community: Seven Principles for Belonging
Charles Vogl

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Format: Paperback, 216pp.
ISBN: 9781626568419
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Publication Date: September 12, 2016

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

Bring People Together!

Strong communities help people support one another, share their passions, and achieve big goals. And such communities aren't just happy accidents—they can be purposefully cultivated, whether they're in a company, in a faith institution, or among friends and enthusiasts. Drawing on 3,000 years of history and his personal experience, Charles Vogl lays out seven time-tested principles for growing enduring, effective, and connected communities. He provides hands-on tools for creatively adapting these principles to any group—formal or informal, mission driven or social, physical or virtual. This book is a guide for leaders seeking to build a vibrant, living entity that will greatly enrich its members' lives.


“The Art of Community is a powerful, practical, and modern articulation of, and advancement on, timeless wisdom. Emerging or veteran leaders who integrate these principles will build communities that are more resilient, passionate, and harmonious in the face of adversity and uncertainty. Flip to any page to find insight and inspiration.”
—Alan Price, Founding Director, Global Leadership Initiative, Harvard Business School, and author of Ready To Lead?

“A useful field guide to create durable and profound connections . . . An important undertaking, as isolation and loneliness are a root cause of the breakdowns all around us, including extreme violence.”
—Peter Block, author of Community and Flawless Consulting

“A brilliantly intentional, well-composed plan for engaging and developing communities. This book is both an inspiration and a field guide for those who wish to connect deeply and build the communities our world so desperately needs.”
—Thomas A. Kolditz, PhD, Brigadier General, US Army (ret.), and Director, Ann and John Doerr Institute for New Leaders

“This book is full of rich wisdom and simple tools to help make community real. Our mission statement includes the word ‘community,' but I never truly understood what it meant until reading this book. Too often we declare a community around affiliation without digging into the shared values and care for one another that make a real community.”
—Jason Jay, PhD, Director, Sustainability Initiative, MIT Sloan School of Management, and author of Beyond the Choir

“A deeply thoughtful and compelling book that shares many insights with clarity, accessible examples, and ideas for implementation. I learned a lot.”
—Lawrence Levy, former CFO. Pixar Animation Studios; cofounder, Juniper Foundation; and author of To Pixar and Beyond

“Charles Vogl's book is a lucid, ferociously intelligent, and readily accessible road map to building a more connected culture. Education about community and character has been subordinated in American education to myopic cognitive and commercial learning. The result everywhere around us is devastating, from unprecedented wealth disparities to rampant tribalism. This work points to a much-needed antidote.”
—Marty Krasney, Executive Director, Dalai Lama Fellows

“I've personally experienced the magic that Charles Vogl creates in powerful communities. People feel genuine belonging and connection. Now he has written down the essential principles so that others may experience this magic themselves. I cannot imagine a more important subject for a book in a society where so many of us hunger for connection and community.”
—Scott Sherman, Executive Director, Transformative Action Institute

“The Art of Community is an outstanding guide to creating and fostering the meaningful communities all of us need. As technology that allows us to physically detach from one another accelerates, it has become more important than ever to understand what community and belonging mean. Strong, mature communities benefit both individuals and humanity as a whole.”
Jonathan Knowles, Explorer in Residence, Autodesk, and host of the Autodesk IDEAS series

“If you are tasked with bringing families, neighborhoods, or organizations together, read this book first. In The Art of Community, author Charles Vogl re-invigorates a vision of community and the importance of social bonds to our well-being. In place of our convenient and transient associations, Vogl tells us how to establish relationships that are more meaningful and enduring.”
—Michael O'Malley, author or coauthor of Every Leader Is an Artist, The Wisdom of Bees, and Leading with Kindness

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About the Author

Charles Vogl is an author and executive consultant. He works with leaders in tech, finance, media, government, and social change organizations to make meaningful change. This work includes helping others inspire powerful connections in critical relationships. He draws from the realm of spiritual traditions to understand how individuals build loyalty, strengthen identity, and live out shared values. These principles apply to both secular and spiritual leadership. He believes that every influential leader builds a community of stakeholders and crucial relationships on whom they depend. When leaders know how to create a robust and committed community, they create relationships that are effective and resilient. These relationships deliver when needed most and create profound change.

Charles got his introduction in community building as a twenty-four-year-old full-time volunteer with a radical homeless shelter in Santa Ana, California. There he was stunned by the compassion and commitment of activists doing thankless and nauseating work in the face of seemingly overwhelming need. They could continue only by serving in community. He went on to work on rural health care access and human rights as a US Peace Corps volunteer in Zambia, where he was mostly exhausted, ineffective, and overwhelmed trying to make a difference.

was only later as a struggling documentary filmmaker in New York that new mentors taught him the importance and philosophy of building community for change. For the first time, his work and team achieved international success. His PBS documentary work touched on subjects from genocide education, school reform and civil rights advocacy. The training was critically important when he volunteered as a New York restaurant labor organizer after experiencing worker abuse himself. That campaign changed the national labor law landscape to newly empower abused restaurant workers. He went on to study leaders in political and social movements and spiritual traditions at Yale University.

He guest lectures at the Yale Leadership Institute and Yale School of Management. He co-instructed the first Yale University social entrepreneurship course with Dr. Scott Sherman. He has a BS from the USC Annenberg School and a Master of Divinity from Yale University where he studied ethics, religion, philosophy, and business. He was also named a Jesse Ball DuPont Foundation Scholar. In one year he also survived a plane crash, a spitting cobra attack, and acute malaria.

You can follow his work at charlesvogl.com.

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