This space is dedicated to illuminating and deepening ways to apply the principles and practices of Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) and other strengths-based approaches to community change.
In 2016, Tamarack Institute's Deepening Community Practice Area was chosen by renown community-builder and ABCD co-founder John McKnight, to serve as the home for ABCD Canada. John’s rationale for choosing Tamarack’s Deepening Community Practice Area as home for ABCD Canada highlights the importance and uniqueness of our work. He says, “we have many programs focused on policy and institutions but too few focused on enabling citizens and associations to be producers in their neighbourhoods.”
ABCD’s emphasis on strengths, connections, citizen leadership and its recognition that individual gifts become powerful when they are connected together echoes deeply with our own practice and approach to community change. In our experience, communities that collaborate are more successful at addressing complex issues like poverty, equity, community safety and community well-being because they are able to harness the talents, knowledge and strengths of diverse perspectives.
In times of crisis, we are reminded of the importance of caring for our neighbours, exercising our mutual giftedness, and everyday people taking the initiative to creatively solve problems without waiting for permission or leadership from institutions, professionals or politicians.
As cities and communities start to look at recovery, how do we learn from what has happened and move forward in a better way? Many recovery models have been created to help the economy thrive or to reduce risk management and disaster.
This compilation of learnings written by John McKnight are ideas and thoughts that will help you understand the ABCD approach and through examples show how the different players can support and foster an asset approach.
— Alexis de Toqueville
— John McKnight, Founder and co-director of Asset-Based Community Development Institute