The Empowerment Manual

Starhawk demonstrates how to start and manage groups through bottom-up leadership and shared power.


| April 2013


The Empowerment Manual  (New Society Publishers, 2011) is a comprehensive guide for groups seeking to organize with shared power and bottom-up leadership to foster vision, trust, accountability and responsibility. In this desperately needed toolkit, Starhawk provides keys to understanding group dynamics, facilitating communication and collective decision-making, and dealing effectively with difficult people.  

Collaborative groups are generally started by people with a vision. Sometimes that vision is articulated and clear, expressed in a document or a set of writings. Sometimes it’s embodied in the way a group organizes or the work that it does. Often it’s assumed, and not made explicit. People may never have had the time to sit down and articulate what their vision is. Or they might be afraid that making it explicit will set it in stone and make it rigid and unchangeable.

But a clear vision is actually a gift to a group. An articulated vision lets prospective members know what they might be choosing to join, and it creates a standard against which your decisions can be judged.

A Picture of an Ideal World   



A group vision contains many parts. First of all, it’s a picture of the world you want to create, the ideal that you hold. What does that world look like? How does it feel and smell? Who lives in it and how do they interact?

Your picture of the world will influence the choices that you make and the priorities you choose. RootBound exists because someone had a picture of a world that was more communal and less isolated than the general culture. An antiwar group may form because people envision a world at peace.














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