By Kerra Bolton
Building a New Reality (BANR) is “a non-partisan, evidence-based social movement that addresses the six facets of society’s needs.”
We provide “both a roadmap to see where we are and a framework for participatory learning, decision-making, and action.”
How do we do that?
We read a lot, listen a lot, and put our ideas to work in the form of real-world experiments to test our theories. We also highlight the work of others who share our core values.
In that spirit, I offer five books to help you build a new reality. I recommend some books written by BANR Founder Ted Wachtel and others in education and business that have shaped our thinking.
Whether you want to explore our concepts further or are looking for thought-provoking books to read this fall, we’ve got you covered.
by Ted Wachtel feels written for these times. Citizens worldwide are now questioning whether centuries-old democracies will adequately address the urgent issues of a global pandemic, climate change, technology, political unrest, and racial justice. What has worked for a racial and economic oligarchy isn’t working for the rest of us. True Representation explores sortition as a means of “bringing about true democratic representation in governance for all citizens.”
Ted is also hosting an online, interactive conversation twice each month to examine different themes considered in the book such as the “Myth of Voting,” “Wisdom of Crowds,” “Nation in a Room,” and “Sortition Menu.” Click here to sign up for an upcoming webinar.
by Frederic Laloux “is considered by many to be the most influential management book of this decade.” Laloux wrote the book in three parts. The first takes a historical look at organizational models and challenges us to imagine a “radically more productive” one. Part 2 uses real-life case studies from businesses, nonprofits, schools, and hospitals to illuminate the book’s themes. The concluding part assesses the necessary conditions to create a new organizational model. It asks whether it’s possible to transform existing organizations and what results are possible after the transition.
Our friends at Ligand, a restorative practices training organization in Kortrijk, Belgium, put Laloux’s theories to the test when its executive director, Stijn Deprez, became restless. You can read more about Ligand’s journey towards becoming guided by “together management” .
by Kenneth Danford asks a question that most children have asked: “Do I have to go to school?” Danford and colleague Joshua Harwick left their public school teaching jobs in 1996 to find a better path. Part memoir and part how-to, the book explains how Danford founded North Star, a self-directed learning program for teens. With adequate support from parents and peers, “teens can learn and succeed without high school and its mandatory attendance, tests, and grades.”
by Rick Falkvinge “is a leadership handbook that outlines how the Swedish Pirate Party was able to beat the political competition on less than one percent of their budget and shows how any cash-and time-strapped executive or manager can use swarm methodologies, whether the goal is business, social or political.”
A hands-on approach to organizational change, the book covers everything from giving instructions to a marketing assistant to communicating on television. Swarmwise is a bit aggressive in tone (such as “dropkick” the competition and its overemphasis on cost-efficiency.) However, its tips on project management (“plans must be tangible, credible, inclusive and epic”) and choosing the right metrics have applications in various fields and endeavors.
by Ted Wachtel was “an angry young teacher’s response to the ineffectiveness and injustice of traditional schools as he experienced them.” “Spiraling costs, declining academic standards, and shocking violence” are just as real now as they were when Wachtel wrote about them 40 years ago.
A new edition of the book is available, including Amazon Europe. We think you’ll find Wachtel’s advocacy for creating learning systems that provide more real-world, hands-on opportunities increasingly relevant as parents seek alternatives to traditional learning models in the age of COVID.
The five books are just a few to get you started on your path to building a new reality. Do you have a favorite or want to offer a suggestion? Follow us on or sign up for an upcoming conversation and share your ideas with others in an open, inviting environment.