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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.

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What if Parishes Got Involved in Poverty Reduction?

Posted by Thomas Sweetser on June 21, 2019

David Brooks, a columnist for the New York Times, wrote on the Op-Ed page for Friday, April 5, 2019, “Jesus said the poor will always be among us, but there are a lot of people in Canada testing that proposition. According to recently released data, between 2015 and 2017, Canada reduced its official poverty rate by at least 20 percent.” The effort was not just to move people out of poverty, but to eradicate poverty altogether. It meant asking the question, “What does a vibrant community look like in which everybody’s basic needs are being met.” 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Learning to Love Community

Posted by Emma Wallace on June 17, 2019

As a student, I attend academic conferences regularly – they are a great way to share your research, and to better understand others’ research. What’s missing from academic conferences though, is a community of practice – an intentional space for conversation and critical reflection. Practitioner conferences are a great supplement to academic conferences for this reason. It is a wonderful opportunity for networking, being part of a community practice, and participating in critical reflection as a group.

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The Heart of Interconnectedness

Posted by Beth Harding on June 16, 2019

The ABCD: Healthy Neighbourhoods, Healthy Cities Conference in Edmonton was one of the most profound conferences I’ve been to; a plethora of experts, changemakers, wisdom-imparters, and entertainers – the combination could found in each presenter respectively. There was a palpable energy of support, encouragement, positivity, and kinship in the room, vast as it was, holding the collective community of over 300 people, who were there to learn from the greatest in Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) and each other.

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