Collective Visioning

How Groups Can Work Together for a Just and Sustainable Future

This book teaches readers how to create a vision of what they want the world to look like, and then how to work together to make it happen.

198 pages. ©2007.
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Reader Reviews for this Book


Review posted January 11, 2023


Collective Visioning presents a clear and concise process of how groups can work together in a meaningful, authentic, and collaborative way to create lasting change in our communities. I appreciated the connection to powerful personal stories throughout the book which shared trials of the author’s own experiences in working to create lasting change. The book is full of narratives, exercises, sample relevant scenarios which can help any group create strategies for complex issues. Definitely worth the read!


Review posted October 4, 2022


It is a great book. It really help me on ways to engage committee members. I really recommend this book.


Review posted July 18, 2022


Loved the book. Read on and off throughout the pandemic. Just finished. Not entirely what I was expecting, but definitely in a good way. It’s at my desk at work for a quick read during breaks


Review posted May 16, 2022


Wow. What a great book about working with diverse groups towards a common vision, making sure all viewpoints are heard and considered.


Review posted October 25, 2021


Linda Stout shows us how collective vision can be used to make positive change in communities. Her extensive experience and results in social justice work is great evidence of the power of collective visioning. She offers prompts, exercises and examples of ways to vision with groups around any issue.


Review posted August 17, 2021


Collective visioning is vital for any organization to thrive. Figuring out how to give all involved parties a voice and input is important to creating a supportive and encouraging environment for people to thrive individually and collectively. This book provides tips and insights on how to achieve this objective sustainably.


Review posted July 25, 2021


When I ordered this book, I thought it would provide more information on Collective Visioning than on Strategic Planning. I have already done strategic planning with my group and this book duplicated that information with a different lens. If you are just starting out and wanting to know how to bring a group together and bring ideas together then this is the book for you. If you have already brought your group together and know where you are headed, look for something else.

glenn franz

Review posted March 31, 2021


The vision and the clarity of details that Linda Stout present in this book could transform the foundations of our democracy. It is the human relationship that creates a functional government by, for and of the people. Without it we will continue along wasting huge amount of resources of time, human frustration, funds, and stymied by conflict. If this were taught and used in our schools or widely offered in our communities it could transform life for all of us.


Review posted December 6, 2020


Great read! As a former teacher, grateful for the descriptive and easy-to-follow guidance. Personal experiences, especially the ones that didn't turn out so well, are a unique touch.


Review posted September 14, 2020


This is an informative, accessible and easy to read book that presents clear steps to create a collective vision. I really appreciate how Stout includes information about creating a personal vision, discusses the importance of a Theory of Change, as well as as uses a couple of diagrams.

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Review posted March 19, 2020


I was able to facilitate a few of the exercises and the outcome was favorable.


Review posted February 7, 2020


Practical and heartfelt. I look forward to using these insightful techniques at the group level. Her bedrock of inclusivity is powerful and useful.


Review posted October 27, 2019


Really 2.5. It's not a bad book but it's just some thoughts about one way of group brainstorming. It's nothing that someone creative couldn't have come up with on-the-fly. There are a few points that stand out, but barely enough for a pamphlet.


Review posted June 17, 2019


This book has helped me become a better listener to the population that I serve. I love the book It was an easy read.


Review posted May 28, 2019


This is a really good resource for collecting tools to help empower a variety of partners. It was an easy and inviting read.


Review posted May 1, 2019


In community development, there are many different philosophies and engagement practices that compete, or complement one another, this book offers a few more to consider integrating into your work.


Review posted January 17, 2019


Linda Stout's portrayal of community collaboration read more as a long essay about why she was qualified to tell this story. Part of me was more curious about the back stories she touched on than the how-to's briefly provided at the end of chapters. However, the more I read, the more I appreciated Stout's ability to navigate the nuances of modern-day social justice. Many of the tools and trainings provided have not kept up with relevance and time, but a few have. I look forward to testing some of these out!


Review posted April 20, 2018


I informative detail regarding collective visioning-helpful in our discussions with community partners. Thank you.


Review posted December 2, 2017


A good read stressing the values of hope, vision, and action to create lasting positive changes in communities. The author offers practical advice based on her experiences helping communities thrive. Anyone interested or invested in social change activism will likely appreciate this book.


Review posted November 28, 2017


The book had many ideas for our group to use in our visioning.


Review posted April 7, 2017




Review posted September 17, 2016


Normally when I review a book provided by The Ford Foundation I avoid making any remarks about the apparent political philosophy of the author. This book is different and for me it's a real trial to express how much I disagree with the author without being disagreeable. I hadn't read many pages when it struck me that for people wishing to form a soviet style collective this book would be their bread and butter. When ordering "Collective Visioning" I mistakenly assumed that it would provide usable information about how to work with others toward fulfilling our common goals whether in business, government, or individually. Instead I read how to collectively recruit other people that have a weak vision of themselves and the 229 year old Republic in which they live. It took the author only eight pages to get around to telling readers how she supported the present resident of the White House in his 2008 campaign for office. Perhaps she sees the results of his eight years as President as being a success but many of us sees it as being a merciless attack on our Constitution. What he and his minions could not lawfully achieve he boasted that he would change with a pen and a telephone. Apparently though his wreckage and ruin is still insufficient for this author because on page nine she laments;"...unfortunately we have a political system that is so driven by big money and corporate power that even people we have elected who share our values of justice and equity and want to make change come up short of what they promise" In chapter one the reader learns that collective visioning comes to the masses with guidance toward pre-selected objectives while in chapter two we learn that we must pre-screen people that come to visioning sessions, otherwise we may accidentally invite someone that believes the justice system as expressed in our Constitution. This author bludgons readers with social justice, equality, and peace from so many directions that I began to look for how many times she used the terms in each chapter. And so it goes unrelenting until the conclusion where we read "Every day we are flooded with bad news...We have to change the way we work for change." "Collective Visioning" sees the United States social fabric as being something that must be pounded into a collective as seen through a "group think" mentality. This book may be an inspiration to some readers however I see it as a "how to guide" for Socialist manipulators seeking to bring down the greatest experiment in self rule that this world has ever known.

Darcy Bedortha

Review posted May 27, 2016


Linda Stout is both wise and humble in her approach to organizing in rural and marginalized communities. Her work in communities not often engaged as leaders in the work of change is both remarkable and deeply rooted in love. This book offers practical advice for an inclusive, grass-roots approach to community organizing and an outline for how to move forward. I recommend this book highly, especially for people who don't often recognize themselves as leaders. Linda will assure you otherwise.


Review posted February 27, 2016


I love the optimism of this book!


Review posted January 17, 2016


I really enjoyed "Collective Visioning: How Groups Can Work Together for a Just and Sustainable Future". The stories really resonated with me and I enjoyed the practical steps to guide, instruct, and inspire.

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Review posted July 2, 2015


I really enjoyed this book and got a lot out of it. I am bringing on a new team at work and this book reminded me how important visioning together is at the start of a new venture together -- where do we want to go together, what do we want it to be like when we get there? I love that this book gives such clear instruction on how to lead folks in visioning activities. I am not sure what I was expecting, but I should have known it would be super practical because that is how all the Select Books I've read have been! There are great tips for creating a welcoming space and setting up a physical space, as well as for activities -- some of which are right brained, social, creative (story telling with active listening guidelines) and others which are more left-brained (action planning/ strategic planning complete with a table to fill out!). Love it!!!! Thank you. A good mix for both me and for the folks I lead.


Review posted June 11, 2015


Collective Visioning is a must read for anyone concerned with the future of our society and the protection of the environment. This book is wonderfully written, and the author illustrates that the path in which to live a more sustainable lifestyle while enjoying mutual, collective involvement within your community is an achievable dream.


Review posted May 14, 2015


This is a very useful tool for approaching visioning as a community or group endeavor. It is practical, straightforward and easy to read. There are some great ideas for activities to use in a visioning process and also thoughtful examination of the differences that people bring to the table and how those can be addressed. It ends with Hope, Vision and Action -- and that is the benefit of the vision of this author. Focusing on optimism, hope and an understanding that inclusion is important are key components to successful visioning for a community. Timely reading as our community grapples with visioning and change.

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Review posted March 10, 2015


I love how this book combines very visionary, big picture ideas with very practical step by step instructions for bringing groups together. I like the author's often light-hearted approach to her subject, and very much appreciated her unique story of how she came to organizing and writing books.


Review posted March 2, 2015


Loved this book! Thank you!


Review posted February 16, 2015


Loved this book!