This issue is dedicated to the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Program for Community Problem Solving (PCPS), a division of the National Civic League. It honors the spirit in which PCPS was founded by taking the opportunity to ask not just where we are going as a field but also where we should go. In the last decade, consensus building and collaborative problem solving have moved from the margins of government agencies, national foundations, and grassroots neighborhood groups into the mainstream of American life. The ability of PCPS to articulate a vivid "picture of the possible" is more important than ever to the broader efforts that seek to address these and other pressing social issues.
Contributors present successful efforts to address community issues through collaboration from the PCPS ten-year history. Chapters analyze civic capital, the collective civic capacities of a community, as the currency that supports collaborative strategies, and explore the new channels of information that have undercut older rationalist command-and-control models of organizational power arrangements. One contributor offers a strong argument for reinventing the very organizations that serve as mediators for new collaborative ventures in communities, and suggest ways to create new mechanisms for building cohesive communities. Other examples presented include successful public-private partnerships that redefine who has responsibility for the public good. A concluding summary of the public participation in the 1990s captures the achievements of the last decade and the potential areas for successful growth ahead.