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Cormac Russell Tells the Story of John McKnight and ABCD

Posted on February 15, 2018
By Paul Born

looking back to forward.jpgAsset Based Community Development (ABCD): Looking Back to Look Forward - In conversation with John McKnight about the intellectual and practical heritage of ABCD and its place in the world today, by Cormac Russell, tells the story behind ABCD. When I say "behind", I mean it provides us an intimate reflection on the people that most influenced John and the ground-breaking ideas that formed his thinking.

This book is an intimate conversation between two of the people who are most influential in today's ABCD thinking and practice. In Cormac’s own description of the book, he writes that the purpose is to:

“...provide a detailed background to Asset Based Community Development (ABCD), with a particular emphasis on the contributions of the people, such as Illich, Alinsky, Mendelsohn, Miller, Snow, Block and others, who have been most influential in shaping the conceptual framework and practice of this approach. It also provides a deep insight into Professor John McKnight's (one of the originators, and the most central figure in ABCD alongside Professor Jody Kretzmann) thinking on society and community. It offers a wealth of commentary on the challenges facing society and community, what needs to change, and how we might go about it. This publication is therefore a must read for anybody interested in social policy and community development. It will be of particular interest to those seeking to gain a deep, well informed and rounded understanding of Asset Based Community Development from its beginning to the current day.”

For all those attending the first national gathering of ABCD in Canada (April 16-18 in Kitchener, Ontario), you will each receive a copy of this book with your conference registration.

To learn more, visit the ABCD for Healthy Neighbourhoods website or the ABCD Neighbourhood wellness site.

Deepening Community, Paul Born, ABCD

Paul Born

By Paul Born

Paul Born is the Co-CEO of Tamarack Institute where he is creating Vibrant Communities and leads the national networks, Cities Reducing Poverty and Cities Deepening Community. The author of four books, including two Canadian best sellers, Born is a faculty member of John McKnight’s Asset Based Community Development Institute (ABCD) and a senior fellow of Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social innovators. Paul grew up in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia as the son of Mennonite refugees. This in part is what made him deeply curious about and engaged in ideas that cause people to work together for the common good, work that he describes as collective altruism. He holds a Masters degree in Leadership and specializes in helping organizations and communities to develop innovative ideas that motivate people to collaborative action. Paul is a motivational speaker, and large-scale community change facilitator. He resides in Waterloo, Ontario.

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