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

Forming a Foundation to Build Great Things

Posted by Heather Keam on July 19, 2019

We understand that we need to bring a group of people together when we want to start a new project or develop a strategy. We go out and ask people we know, put an invitation in the local paper and hope people show up. Then we jump right into the “doing” and don’t spend time building the foundations of a good team or leadership group. This focus on results over process often leads to the same issues - team members not sure why they are at the table, don’t help, never show up or no one takes ownership of the strategy. 

Read More

Securing Funding for the Backbone Role: Lessons from the Field

Posted by Erin Sullivan & Jennifer Splansky Juster on July 13, 2019

One of the most common questions we hear from collective impact practitioners is how to raise the funds needed to support and sustain the backbone role. While some funders have a nuanced understanding of the immense value of collective impact initiatives, supporting the backbone is a different approach for many philanthropic and public funding sources, which can make it challenging to get the consistent, long-term investments needed to help effect population-change.

Read More

How Does the Design of Communities Make Us More Connected?

Posted by Charito Gailling on July 11, 2019

Ever notice how the design of public space can shape the behaviour and interactions of people within it?  Think about how likely you would be to ride your bike to the park instead of driving, choose healthier foods, or stop to chat with neighbours if you didn’t feel safe or if the services you need are not accessible or affordable.  Our health is significantly influenced by the design of our communities, and partnering with local governments in our public health efforts is a powerful strategy to encourage healthy living and prevent chronic disease.

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