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Creating a World that Works for All
by Sharif Abdullah

"We are in deep trouble," writes Portland author Sharif Abdullah. "We live in a world that works for only a few." The problem, he asserts in this new book, is exclusivity: the fundamental belief that we are separate from one another and separate from the Earth. By practicing exclusivity, we have created a soul-starved society. We suffer, both personally and as a society, from complex, interlocking problems so intense that they create a deep sense of emptiness in all of us. We have created a soul-starved, spiritually empty society. We are being destroyed by our story.

The destructiveness of our story plays itself out in various ways. It is the ideological virus at the heart of all suffering, from Yugoslavia and the Middle East to America's own inner cities, gated communities and rural wastelands. Yet only when this separateness is blotted out will the world be ready to find peace in a new millennium.

What is responsible for this schism? Capitalism? Communism? Industrialism? Racism? Sexism? No. According to Sharif, the blame cannot be laid on any one of these "isms." At the heart of the earth's ills lies exclusivity, the insidious idea that "I am separate. I am different from all the rest."

That is the stirring message at the heart of "Creating a World that Works for All". In it, Sharif Abdullah encourages us to change our world for the 21st Century by changing our collective consciousness, transforming ourselves by building inclusivity: bridges of community and understanding to people everywhere, no matter how "different" they may seem. This book offers clear direction that is in line with our deepest moral, spiritual and human values.

In "Creating a World That Works for All" , a beautifully designed and easy-to-read book, Sharif tells scores of real-life and mythical tales to define his vision of a new world linked not just by trade agreements and the Internet, but by a sweeping unity of purpose and shared spirit of hope. In outlining for us what needs changing and how we change it, "Creating a World That Works for All" becomes the handbook for nonviolent social revolution. He shows us all how to:

  • Create life stories that bind us in a common web of humanity... rather than divide us from each other
  • Discard old theories and ideas that hold us back from each other... and from the goal of a truly inclusive global village
  • Infuse our lives with inclusivity on a daily basis... at work, at home and in our communities.

"Creating a World That Works For All" is spiritual, but not in the individualistic language of the personal growth and development movement. Sharif is less concerned about how we can become better individuals; in this book he helps us focus on how to be a better society.

He is helped in this quest by means of a superb Introduction by Vaclav Havel, President of the Czech Republic, playwright and author of many books on social and political change, including "Disturbing the Peace," "Living in Truth" and "The Art of the Impossible." In "Creating" President Havel states: "It is my deep conviction that the only option is a change in the sphere of the spirit, in the sphere of human conscience. It's not enough to invent new machines, new regulations, new institutions. We must develop a new understanding of the true purpose of our existence on earth. Only by making such a fundamental shift will we be able to create new models of behavior and a new set of values for the


Only on the bookstore shelves since June, "Creating a World That Works For All" has already been endorsed by leading authors, thinkers and activists, including anthropologist Angeles Arrien, systems thinker Margaret Wheatley, "Ecotopia" author Ernest Callenbach and people-centered development guru David Korten, author of "When Corporations Rule The World."

For activists, environmentalists, members of grassroots organizations, students, and, most of all, for leaders of all sorts, "Creating a World That Works For All" is an exciting proposal for a new kind of society and a practical blueprint for making it happen.

Sharif Abdullah directs the Commonway Institute, designed to build inclusivity, understanding and civic engagement between diverse groups of people in various settings. He is also the author of "The Power of One: Authentic Leadership in Turbulent Times." You can contact Sharif by phone at 503-281-1667 or via e-mail:




"A compelling and inspirational book that ignites creativity and a renewed commitment to re-dream and mend a world that works for all. No other book addresses our current situation in a thorough and practical way."

Angeles Arrien, Ph.D.

Cultural Anthropologist

Author of The Four-Fold Way and Signs of Life


"This is a wonderfully rich collection of insights, analyses, and possibilities. It provides stimulating guidance for those of us who want to live in a world that works for all."

Margaret Wheatley

Author, Leadership and the New Science

Co-Author, A Simpler Way


"Ingenious and inspiring new thinking about the personal realizations we need in order to do whatever we do, whoever we are, to make this a better world."

Ernest Callenbach

Author, Ecotopia


"Creating is a powerful message about individual responsibility and community action that can change the world. Thoughtful, provocative and compassionate, Creating should be on the bookshelf of every caring person involved in social change."

Rev. Mary Manin Morrissey

Author, Building Your Field of Dreams


"This is a no-nonsense book about vision and action! I believe that both the great adventure, and the great challenge of our time, is to strengthen the link between the inner, personal transformation that many of us are engaged with our action and service in the world. Sharif Abdullah gives us insights and clear, practical suggestions for both our inner and outer work, and beautifully illustrates their all important connection. I consider it a must read for those concerned with inquiry, vision and action."

Winston Franklin

President, Institute of Noetic Sciences


"Sharif Abdullah brings us the prophetic message that to change the world we must first change the way we see the world. The path to inclusivity begins with our personal spiritual awakening to the reality that all life flows from a single spiritual unity."

David C. Korten

author of "When Corporations Rule the World" and "The Post-Corporate World"


Limited Copyright

This review can be copied by an established newspaper, newsletter or other print media, on the following terms and conditions: The review may be edited for length. Any material in quotation marks may not be edited. Such material must be used in its entirety or omitted. A copy of the review as published must be sent to the author at the following address:

Sharif M. Abdullah
P.O. BOX 12541
Portland, OR 97212


(503) 281-1667