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Orton’s Community Field Guide Makes Holiday Reading List

If you are looking for something to read during your holiday down time or gift ideas, we encourage you to check out the great community and economic planning reading list that our partners with CommunityMatters shared on their blog. We especially encourage you to learn more about the Orton Family Foundation’s wonderful Community Heart & Soul Field Guide, a resource on the list that is designed to help those of us doing community & civic engagement work. You can read the list below of find the original post here.


CM_logo-200pxThe Center for Rural Entrepreneurship shared its list of top reads of 2014. Included on the list is the Community Heart & Soul™ Field Guide recommended by Erik Pages, a CRE fellow and president and founder of EntreWorks Consulting, an economic development and policy development firm who said: “This is an excellent guide to strategic planning and community building for small towns.”

Thank you Erik! Lots of great reads to add to our holiday wish lists!

Here are the center’s Top 12 Recommended Reads of 2014:

Recommended by Erik Pages, EntreWorks Consulting and Center Fellow: The Tyranny of Experts by William Easterly. While the book is mainly about international development issues, it’s a useful caution that economic development is about individual choice and empowerment – not the latest scheme from so-called “experts.”

Recommended by Don Macke: Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson. This book provides both a framework for exploring the innovation process and wonderful stories of innovation. Check out Johnson’s program on Public Broadcasting.

Recommended to Deb Markley by Angela Lust, Amarillo Area Foundation: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer. This book is a true story of innovation under the most challenging circumstances. Inspiring!

Recommended by Erik Pages, EntreWorks Consulting and Center Fellow: Community Heart & Soul Field Guide by the Orton Family Foundation. This is an excellent guide to strategic planning and community building for small towns.

Recommended by all Center staff: The Good Jobs Strategy – How the Smartest Companies Invest in Employees to Lower Costs and Boost Profit by Zeynep Ton. This book provides great case evidence that the race to the bottom need not be the rule as businesses struggle to be competitive.

Recommended by Don Macke: Owning Our Future – The Emerging Ownership Revolution and Journeys to a Generative Economy by Marjorie Kelly. For those of us engaged in entrepreneurship as a means to better economies, this is a must read.

Recommended by Erik Pages, EntreWorks Consulting and Center Fellow: Fueling Up – The Economic Implications of America’s Oil and Gas Boom by the Peterson Institute, an economic impact study of shale energy. Not the most scintillating read, but great data that encourages us to be cautious and realistic about the “shale energy revolution.”

Recommended by Travis Starkey, a millennial and educator in eastern North Carolina: “Creative Class Counties and the Recovery.” This Daily Yonder article shows the value of the “creative class” to the economic recovery in some parts of rural America.

Recommended by Don Macke: The End of the Suburbs by Leigh Gallagher. This book provides interesting insight on the changing spatial demographics in the United States.

Recommended by Deb Markley: Sources of Economic Hope: Women’s Entrepreneurship. This Kauffman Foundation research report suggests why accelerating women’s entrepreneurship might be the best thing we can do for the U.S. economy.

Recommended by Don Macke: The Coming Jobs War by Jim Clifton. This book provides insight from the Chairman of Gallup and their unique international view of global competition.

Recommended by Don Macke: What Then Must We Do? – Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution by Gar Alperovitz. Rooted in the value that economies exist to meet the needs and dreams of residents, this book provides insights worth considering as we engage in economic development.

You can find the original version of this CM blog post at www.communitymatters.org/blog/12-great-reads-add-your-list.

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Roshan Bliss
An inclusiveness trainer and group process facilitator, Roshan Bliss serves as NCDD's Youth Engagement Coordinator and Blog Curator. Combining his belief that decisions are better when everyone is involved with his passion for empowering young people, his work focuses on increasing the involvement of youth and students in public conversations.

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