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Cooperative Wisdom: Bringing People Together When Things Fall Apart Paperback – May 18, 2016
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"In Cooperative Wisdom Don Scherer and Carolyn Jabs provide afriendly, accessible guide to tackling some of our most vexing problems. The five steps they propose are rooted in sophisticated philosophy butthe great strength of their book is its collection of simple, practicalexamples that show how unintended problems arise and how solutions arepossible. This is a book that will educate, inspire, and empower." --Dr. Nancy Unger, Author of Beyond Nature's Housekeepers: American Women in Environmental History
"Penetrating,accessible, and profoundly practical, Cooperative Wisdom delivers on itspromise. It truly is a distillation of a lifetime of practical problem solving,a primer in how to transform unsustainable "environments" intosustainable ones. Scherer and Jabs have created nuanced and revitalizingcharacterizations of five dispositions essential to ethical consultation andconflict resolution. " --- Dr. Mark Aulisio, Consultant on Medical Ethics,Case Western Reserve.
"Cooperative Wisdom will appeal to anyone frustrated by disruptivechange and seemingly intractable disputes. The social virtues it describes openup promising paths where there seem to be nothing but dead ends; it providesclear, practical guide that expands our understanding of what it means to be anddo good in a complex, modern world. This book equips readers to respondconstructively to change, transcend conflict, and strengthen the communities onwhich our well-being depends." --Self-Publishing Review
"A great read! Cooperative Wisdom describes everything I do every day in my work. The kinds of cooperation needed in the world today involve multiple players who do not always see how their interests can align. Cooperative Wisdom helped me think more clearly about the skills I need to put together coalitions that produce benefits for everyone involved.The strategies recommended in the book produce results that are more thoughtful, more innovative and, in the end, more sustainable." --Dale Arnold, Director of Energy, Utility and Local Government Policy, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation
About the Author
Dr. Donald Scherer is Professor Emeritus in the Philosophy Department of Bowling Green State University in Ohio. For more than 40 years, he has thought deeply about environmental ethics and social environments in which people can thrive. Cooperative Wisdom distills insights gleaned from his research and writing, teaching and mentoring.
Dr. Scherer has also put his ideas into practice, winning national respect for devising innovative partnerships that respond effectively to incipient conflict. He has consulted with businesses, faith communities, volunteer organizations, and educational institutions including Georgia State University where he facilitated cooperation between the university and the surrounding metropolitan area and Santa Clara University where he worked to improve regional water management.
Among other projects, he has advised the World Wildlife Fund on enlisting Fortune 500 corporations in ecological restoration, promoted interfaith dialogue through the World Council of Churches, developed ethical guidelines for minimizing the harm associated with responding to oil spills with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA), devised plans for exotic species management with regional park systems, and consulted with various cities on innovative design for urban corridors.
Dr. Scherer served as past president of Green Energy Ohio. He is the lead author of Upstream/Downstream: Issues in Environmental Ethics and co-author with Dr. James Child of Two Paths towards Peace. He lives with his wife, Char, in a wind-powered home in Bowling Green, Ohio.
Carolyn Jabs, MA, is an experienced professional writer with a reputation for insight and sensitivity in dealing with complex social issues. She has written hundreds of articles about families, ethics, environmental issues, and the Internet.
Her work has appeared in many publications including the New York Times, Newsweek, Working Mother, and Family PC. Her award-winning column, Growing Up Online, is featured in regional parenting publications across the country. She is the author of The Heirloom Gardener and a contributor to Children and Nature: Making Connections.
Carolyn and her husband, David, live in Santa Barbara, California where she participates in the Women’s Fund, serves on the Board of the local chapter of the Association for Women in Communications and practices tai chi.
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Cooperative Wisdom is formatted as a conversation between its authors: Dr. Scherer and his student Carolyn Jabs. The conversation format works quite well making for an easy, non-ponderous read. Jabs provides useful syntheses of Dr. Scherer’s remarks and asks probing questions. Jabs’ questions to Scherer were quite often the questions that I the reader would ask. Well done.
This book may be viewed as a description of the character traits that are needed by individuals and institutions to resolve conflict productively, thereby strengthening our shared social order. Cooperative Wisdom is an important contribution to understanding and resolving conflict.