‘When we reject the single story we regain a kind of paradise: Why Jubilant Stories matter!’ by Cormac Russell

UnknownHere is a really excellent blog from Cormac Russell of Nurture Development.

‘This blog reflects on the dangers of becoming trapped in the single story. This is a ubiquitous risk. From getting trapped in our personal history, to the dangers inherent in how media shape messages for our consumption, we all need the inoculation that a multiplicity of diverse and contradictory stories bring.

“Show a people as only one thing, over and over again and they become that one thing.”

These are the words of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian novelist who has dedicated herself to writing about the many stories of her life; her country and her continent. Her newest book, The Thing Around Your Neck, is a brilliant collection of stories about Nigerians struggling to cope within a corrupted context in their home country, and about the Nigerian immigrant experience.

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‘ABCD: Connectors, Conductors & Circuit Breakers’ by Cormac Russell

Unknown-5This is the first of 3 blogs in which Cormac will be exploring issues of citizenship, power and democracy and what these mean to asset based community development.

Recently an ABCD Community Builder in Gloucestershire commented that in the neighbourhoods where he works there are three kinds of people:

  1. Connectors: those that bring people and energy together.
  2. Conductors: those that constructively hold negative energy and creative tensions and either help others channel these in a positive direction (like lightening rods) or ‘earth’ them… In other words bring them to ground before someone ‘blows a fuse’.
  3. The third he described as Circuit Breakers. These are people, institutions and sometimes places that break connections and the flow of energy, sometimes with very negative consequences, but often, even in the apparent negativity, they create new learning that can’t be experienced by going with the flow.

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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.

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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.

Asset Based Community Development & The Big Society

“Care in a Big Society comes from people. It doesn’t come from programmes and it doesn’t comes from services. And often it can’t be managed because care is the freely given gift of the heart, one person to another.”

“We need to figure out how we become caring again and where the domain of care lies. Systems, services, institutions provide services, very important, very valid services. But communities, families, neighbourhoods is where care is created.”

Cormac Russell, Managing Director of Nurture Development talks to Dominic Lodge, CEO of ROCC about ABCD, and how a big society can be a caring society.

Cormac Russell explains Asset Based Community Development

“Asset Based Community Development really is the focus on what exists in communities and within individuals that they can use to grow community to get the kind of life that they want, a life of their choosing…

… What it also recognises is that there are some barriers to people doing that, to focusing on what they have. And probably some of those barriers relate to the fact that over the last 30-40 years we have become very focused on what people don’t have, what people need to receive…

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