Blogs

Al Etmanski

Al Etmanski's picture
Al Etmanski is a community organizer, social entrepreneur and author. He is a founding partner of Social Innovation Generation (SiG) and BC Partners for Social Impact. Previously he co-founded...

Sarah Arthurs

Sarah Arthurs's picture
Sarah Arthurs has a B.A. in Theology, a Masters in Educational Psychology and is a Registered Psychologist. She has worked as a therapist, college instructor, parent educator, community developer...

Yvonne Hollandy

Yvonne Hollandy's picture
Yvonne Hollandy has been immersed in generative dialogue and the new narrative arts with Axiom News since 2007. A 15-year professional background in graphic design, and a life-long love of the arts...

Griet Bouwen

Griet Bouwen's picture
During preparations for the 5th Appreciative Inquiry World Conference, held in Belgium in 2012, Griet Bouwen bounced into the work of Axiom News and recognized her mission in its vision, themes and...

Peter Pula

Peter Pula's picture
Peter is the Founder of Axiom News. He has also founded and led a community newspaper and a corporate communications agency. He has served as a member and chairperson on the boards and committees of...

Michelle Strutzenberger

Michelle Strutzenberger's picture
Michelle Strutzenberger has been a Generative Journalist and curator with Axiom News for more than 15 years. She's most grateful for the incredible people she gets to work with every day at Axiom...

Chuck Peters

Chuck Peters's picture
Chuck Peters is President of The Gazette Company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He can be reached at chuck.peters@thegazettecompany.com.

Cormac Russell

Cormac Russell's picture
Cormac Russell is 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...

John McKnight

John McKnight's picture
John McKnight is emeritus professor of education and social policy and codirector of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University. He is the coauthor of Building...

Peter Block

Peter Block's picture
In addition to The Abundant Community, co-authored with John McKnight, Peter Block is the author of Flawless Consulting, Community, Stewardship and The Answer to How Is Yes. He serves on the boards...

Newest Blogs

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I’ve had the privilege of seeing a lot of professional practitioners wrestle with the dilemmas that Asset-Based Community Development presents - serving while walking backwards being chief among them.

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Community members from Iowa’s Creative Corridor said yes to an ambiguous yet clear enough invitation and gathered on August 18. With this yes they entered into the conditions of an emergent, co-creative field of what is possible. Each yes brought with it its own cares, concerns and curiosities.

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The story is changing out there. The world is experiencing transitions in economics, in communities, in the way people gather and in the way they are citizens in their communities. To be a part of uncovering some of those movements and bringing them to light is really exciting — to continually search for the gifts and assets that are out there. There's no shortage, as it turns out.

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When we try anything new it can be hard. In the early days we might need to turn to props, mnemonics, guidebooks or top tips to help us get to grips with even the basics. If someone acts as a coach and we get time to practice then our confidence grows. We turn to the props and guides less and less. One day we realise we can just "do" it… the thing… whatever it is… without thinking!

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Recently, I was invited to engage in a fascinating online conversation about narrative and generative community. It really got me thinking.

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Society is often spoken of as if it has only two important dimensions; namely, individuals on the one hand and formal institutions on the other. What this map of civic space leaves out is everything in between: families, neighbours and friends, clubs, local business, faith communities and associations.

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'We have very few better places to look for a new narrative than community'

One has to wonder if the results of the Brexit referendum are an answer to a question other than the one on the ballot. Being in inquiry most of my life I’ve had many, many experiences where the question asked isn’t quite the one answered.

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Trying to listen well — like striving to live healthy — can easily erode into a guilt-heavy, anxiety-stabbed experience.

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Part 3 of a series on ABCD 'frustrations' requiring fresh thought

John McKnight has a passion for jazz. Once a year he becomes a roadie for one week and travels on a bus with an aging “old time” jazz band. He once told me if he hadn’t gone down the road he went, a life as a jazz musician would have been a dream come true. Not at all surprisingly, one of his favourite metaphors for leaderless groups is a jazz jam session.

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Part 2 of a series on ABCD 'frustrations' requiring fresh thought

Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) starts with what’s strong not what’s wrong, but should we be expected to always look on the bright side of life? This week’s offer to Room 101 is "overt positivity" in the face of structural inequality; when misguided ABCD practice ignores the underlying issues of power and oppression in communities.

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Part 1 of a series on ABCD 'frustrations' requiring fresh thought

Asset mapping was never intended to be about data gathering by institutions but about relationship building between neighbours. It feels like there is a move away from this neighbourly connection, muddying the waters for thoughtful citizens hoping to grow and develop their own asset maps.

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As satisfying as your new project or initiative is, there is no rule that states it has to continue. In its current form at least.