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Paperback – 304 pages
7.25 Inches × 9 Inches (w × h)

Weight: 562 Grams
BISAC: BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Behavior
Publisher: New Society Publishers
ISBN: 9780865716971
Pub. Date: 2011-10-01

About the Author


Starhawk is the author or co-author of twelve 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. Starhawk and director Donna Read collaborated on a trilogy of documentaries for the National Film Board of Canada. Together as Belili Productions ( they released Signs Out of Time, a documentary on the life and work of archaeologist Marija Gimbutas in 2004 and Permaculture: The Growing Edge in 2010. Starhawk is currently working with Yerba Buena Productions to bring her novel The Fifth Sacred Thing to the screen. Her website is and she blogs at

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The Empowerment Manual

A Guide for Collaborative Groups

by Starhawk

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 guide 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 roundedout with a series of real-life case studies. The included exercises and facilitator’s 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.

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