In 1979, just a couple of years before I was born, John Friedmann published what is quite possibly the most exquisite and at once the least well-known of his 20-some books, The Good Society. Organized around the central question of “How should we live collectively with one another” (p.3), and concerned with establishing a moral foundation for planning, The Good Society is an expression of Friedmann’s utopia. The book is written in an uncommon format, which Friedmann hoped

would “accommodate the largest number of possible meanings, dramatically expanding the spectrum of communicable thought” (1979, p.xvi). It consists of a series of self-contained segments of varying lengths, interspersed with poems, aphorisms, philosophical paragraphs and other “delights” that are intended to “illustrate, contradict, confirm, and illuminate the paragraphs in their immediate vicinity, adding depth and concrete imagery to the more abstract portions of the text” (ibid.). This short chapter is written as a partial imitation (the highest form of

flattery) of The Good Society, applying and extending some of the concepts of that book in light of social planning’s challenges in the 21st century. I write this chapter as a practitioner of dialogue, as a person who has attempted to be in dialogue with John for the past eight years, and who has come to love John in the process. Much like The Good Society, this chapter has “no interest in persuading you, the reader” of any specific argument, but would instead “like you to think from the trampoline of each paragraph into a pattern of your own” (ibid., p.xvii).