The Rite Way Blog

We Need That Rite of Passage…

Posted on October 29, 2013 by David Blumenkrantz

ROP-BAby-in-EarthDougie MacLean, the wonderfully talented Scottish folk singer puts down in verse what many of us believe.

I hope you enjoy and share. As he sings: "You need that rites of passage before you can continue on...." More important today than ever. Special thanks to all who are guiding youth, through rites of passage, to adulthood and meaningful connections with all life.



Posted in ROPE

Designing as if All Things Are Related© – Part 2

Posted on October 2, 2013 by David Blumenkrantz

wbdg Graphic from Whole Building Design Guide, 3.22.2012.

Several weeks ago my long time friend (notice I didn’t say “old friend”!) and award winning green building designer Chuck introduced me to a concept called Integrated Design Charrettes. It is a key ingredient in a whole building design approach that we discussed in Part 1 of the September Paradigm Shift Blog. This design process is almost identical to the process we have used for many years to help a community co-learn and co-create their own rite of passage. In order to achieve the goal of designing and building a structure that is aligned with its physical surroundings and is in balance with nature as well as meets the needs of those who will live, play, learn and work at the location, all constituency groups must be involved in the early design phase. “Planning and Conducting Integrated Design (ID) Charrettes” describes the process clearly. A whole systems integrated design process requires intimate conversations between all the constituency groups.


Posted in ROPE

Designing as if All Things Are Related© – Part 1

Posted on September 9, 2013 by David Blumenkrantz


Over the past 30 years I have been talking with one of my best friends about the similarities of our work. Chuck Silver is an award winning Platinum LEED designer and principal in the design firm, Hudson River Design. His intentional community, business and home designs are not only stunning, they are eloquently aligned with their natural surroundings, frequently have zero energy impact and meet the clients’ needs. Unlike many traditional architects his approach engages others, including stakeholders, policymakers and local zoning officials, in ongoing conversations. The central purpose of these conversations is to ensure that the design and subsequent structure(s) are a fit with the location (other physical structures), nature and the people who will use and inhabit the building(s). This Whole Building Design approach recognizes the connectivity between all structures in nature. (more…)

Posted in ROPE

What if Human Evolution is the Ultimate Clinical Trial?©

Posted on August 2, 2013 by David Blumenkrantz

Marc B. Goldstein & David G. Blumenkrantz

 The Andes of Ecuador 2 by Frederic Edwin Church


In contemporary behavioral science, the randomized clinical trial has emerged as the gold standard for evaluating the efficacy of medical and social interventions. Indeed, today, for an intervention to not be "evidence-based" is to be largely shunned from most funding streams. But are there other ways we can judge the viability of potential interventions?


Posted in ROPE

Parties & Rites of Passage: In Honor of Kaitlin & Peter

Posted on July 8, 2013 by David Blumenkrantz

kandpI like to have fun. Who doesn’t? Parties are a great way to have fun. There’s no better party for me than one celebrating some kind of transition. A rite of passage. No surprise. Yes, I’ve even been to some wild parties after a funeral! What can be more fun than to remember and celebrate the life of someone you loved and the importance of life itself? Even the Hebrew tradition of the Brit milah or Bris - circumcision - is an occasion for celebration and a party. Just don’t sit in the front row! (more…)

Posted in ROPE

Organizing For A Change – Part 2, Design & Installation Principles

Posted on June 12, 2013 by David Blumenkrantz

If you want to build a ship, then don't drum up men to gather wood, give orders, and divide the work.  Rather, teach them to yearn for the far and endless sea.

~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Untitled-4 Graphic by Nancy Sylvia

Twenty, Ten & Fourteen – Navigational Aids for Charting a Course

Installing rites of passage in large systems and communities is a creative challenge.* Twenty-elements emerged over the past 33 years to form design principles that can help guide a community in the development of their own rites of passage.

We also discovered ten minimum community-organizing conditions necessary for the seeds of rites of passage to grow in a community. Certain conditions support people learning together and then co-create ways for the twenty elements to emerge in their rite of passage experience.


Posted in ROPE

Organizing For A Change – Part 1, Shifting Your Attention

Posted on May 29, 2013 by David Blumenkrantz

june1I arrived at England’s Heathrow airport early the other morning after an all night flight across the pond. Disoriented and half asleep the baggage carousel looked like a giant swiftly moving river. My bag floated by and I lunged to save it, dragging it over to the long line where I waited to clear customs. The stoic custom official’s inquisition into my country of origin jarred me into thinking about where I was from. Going from a sleepy trance to an official inquiry shifted my attention. Abruptly. I felt uncertain saying; “America.”


Posted in ROPE
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David Blumenkrantz, Ph.D., Ed.M., Founder & Executive Director, the Center for Youth & Community

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Why This Blog Now?

It’t time for a Paradigm Shift – a fundamental change in beliefs, theory and approach – in developing community-centered responses to the challenges faced by today’s Youth & Community. More here>>