A new year’s message for Governments… the ABCD way

UnknownSome of you will know that I am very enthusiastic about asset-based community development (ABCD). You may have been reading some of my blogs about Nurture Development – where you can learn more about ABCD – and their blog.

I though this an important message from Cormac Russell: ‘As we look toward the year ahead a thought for central and local Governments:

There are things that only a community can do – so get out of their way.
There are things that a community can do, with some help – so offer to help.
There are things that only government can do – so do them.

Read More ➔

CHILDREN FIRST Annual lecture 2013: Cormac Russell

On the 18th birthday of my oldest son Ben, I think the above talk is particularly appropriate. This is the first of six clips. 

“It is often said that it takes a village to raise a child. Nearly everyone I know believes that to be true. Yet little is done to build our villages/ communities in this way. So what can we do to raise a village where every child belongs?” Cormac Russell

Cormac is a world renowned expert on the Asset Based Community Development approach, Managing Director of Nurture Development, Director of ABCD Europe and a faculty member of the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute at Northwestern University, Chicago. He has extensive experience in this area and has trained communities, agencies, NGOs and governments in ABCD and other strength-based approaches across the world.

John McKnight on where change begins

“One of those men belong to one association and one belongs to none. Statistically, the one who belongs to one association will live two years longer than the one who belongs to none. Now you can measure medical interventions, but hardly any would claim that they make you live two years longer.”

In his forty years working with impoverished American communities, John McKnight witnessed incredible social change at the grassroots. He discovered that the majority of the solutions to issues like unwanted teenage pregnancy and crime depended on empowering local citizens and building relationships at the community level.

Although social innovations disrupt the status quo in boundary-breaking and sector-spanning ways, change begins with the individual and their surrounding network.

‘Felling the Forest’ by Rebecca Daddow

get-low-blog-imageHere’s an interesting blog from Rebecca Daddow of Nurture Development.

‘This past weekend, I watched the film Get Low – it was recommended to me by Cormac following a conversation about Community Builders (can you spot who the Community Builder is in the film?). It is a film filled with wonderful acknowledgements of the gifts we possess and find naturally around us. In many ways, it speaks to some of the core values of ABCD.

One of the scenes that resonated most with me sees the main character, Felix, walking through the forest that grows on his land with an old friend, Mattie, who he has reconnected with after 40 years of self-imposed isolation:

Mattie: “It really is beautiful out here. It probably looked like this everywhere 100 years ago.”

Felix: “If you leave things alone, they know what to do”

Read More ➔