The Latest

Contribute. We love to hear your thoughts, your musings and your latest work. Please share with us!
Write a post

Disruptive Times Require Skilled Changemakers

Posted by Liz Weaver in February 2019

In this paper, Liz Weaver describes three elements that every changemaker needs when approaching complex challenges - a mindset shift, an agile and adaptable approach, and knowledge and skills in each of the five interconnected practice areas.

Read More

Relearning to be a Citizen

Posted by Heather Keam on October 17, 2019

I am taking part in my first book club and we are reading John McKnight and Peter Block’s book, The Abundant Community, Awakening the Power of Families and Neighbourhoods. A few chapters in and I have gone from confusion to amazement in my thinking process. 

When we are born, we start our lives as citizens of our family and community, and slowly become consumers of products, services and systems that lead us to believe we are better off and safer. When we think like a system we tend to identify the problem by labeling a specific target - for example, the ‘youth problem’ - however, John and Peter point out that it is not the youth with the problem but the neighbourhood and community. 

Read More

A Good Place is Better Than No Place

Posted by Jonathan Massimi on October 1, 2019

Over the last couple of years I have had the opportunity to work with a number of communities.  This work has involved a great deal of listening; giving ear to people’s stories, dreams and laments. As I reflect on these experiences, I have come to see two impulses at work, the nostalgic and the utopic. The nostalgic focuses on “the good old days,” memories doled out like cups of sugar and lined with white-picket fences. Recollections of a time where things were simply “better.” 

Read More

The Impact of Embracing Asset-Based Community Development

Posted by Heather Keam on July 2, 2019

Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) is about looking at the gifts and assets that exist within a neighbourhood and allowing people to respond to and create local opportunities. How do you use local assets and gifts to guide a city to increase the social fabric and deepen community? Howard Lawrence, who lives in a neighbourhood in Edmonton, had the answer to this question - Abundant Community.  Howard saw the power of neighbouring and wanted the city to experience the richness of neighbours sharing their gifts, knowledge, skills and abilities to improve their neighbourhood.

Read More

Think Large, Act to Enable the Small

Posted by Kerri Davis on June 20, 2019

The statement that resonated with me throughout the ABCD: Healthy Neighbourhood, Healthy Cities conference in Edmonton (May 28-30), was made by Cormac Russell, “nothing for us, without us.” As an employment coordinator working with individuals with disabilities, we pride ourselves on our focus on “person-centered planning” and “individual service plan goals”. We constantly think how we can improve our practices so that we can better serve those in our program, and help them reach their goals.

Read More

Just Do It!

Posted by Catherine Toole on June 19, 2019

When a major 3-day conference on Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD), the foundation of Abundant Community Edmonton (ACE), came to Edmonton in the last week of May, I thought, “Just do it” and jumped at the chance to get involved. Some of the original “thought leaders” who have developed ABCD over the last 30 years, such as John McKnight (himself!), Cormac Russell (from Ireland) and Jim Diers (Seattle) were presenters. Other outstanding presenters included Vickie Cammack, who spoke on Natural Caring, Paul Born from the Tamarack Institute, and Al Etmanski…the list goes on. And people came from all over— Canada, Florida to California, and even Australia. It was fabulous! Tours showcased some of the ACE neighbourhoods. We heard amazing stories! It deepened my understanding of ABCD and further fuelled my commitment to build more connection in my own community.

Read More

Learning to Get Out of the Way

Posted by Cecilia Oteiza Ayres on June 18, 2019

The Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) conference in Edmonton from May 28-30 was phenomenal. The thoughtful planning provided participants with a rich learning environment. The program and set-up allowed people engage in meaningful conversations and make connections with others. This kind of learning environment let me explore how this subject touches all aspects of my life. At the end of the conference I could easily see myself applying it to my volunteer work, professional life and especially in my personal life.

Read More