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From Needs to Assets: A New Approach to Community Building


In this one-hour introductory session to asset-based community development, explore a paradigm shift that will help you to better understand a new approach to working and interacting with people, that is empowering for neighbourhood residents. Rather than focusing on neighbourhood needs, we will explore the importance of neighbourhoodcapacities and assets as the essential focus of effective local community-building.

Join us with John McKnight, the founder and co-director of Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD), as he dives into the basic principles and practices of an asset-based approach, and identifies key factors for implementing an ABCD strategy to create more vibrant communities. 


John McKnight, Asset-Based Community Development Institute

John McKnight is a founder and co-director of Asset-Based Community Development Institute, whose graduates -- including both Michelle and Barack Obama -- continue to have impact strengthening communities and neighbourhoods around the world. In 2013, John was awarded an Honourary Docorate from the University of Waterloo in recognition of his innovative work.

For three decades John has researched social service delivery systems, health policy, community organizations and neighbourhood policy. He is the author of The Careless Society and co-author of Building Communities from the Inside Out and The Abundant Community. John serves on the Boards of several national organizations that support neighbourhood development and he remains tireless in his recognition and championing of citizens -- and their capacity to care for one another -- as an essential resource in the work of building better communities and neighbourhoods.

Paul Born, Tamarack Institute

Paul Born is the cofounder and Co CEO of Tamarack Institute, a leader on issues of place, citizenship engagement, collective impact, and community innovation. The author of four books, including two Canadian best sellers, Born is internationally recognized for his community-building activities that have won awards from the United Nations and as a senior fellow of Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social innovators.

Paul Born 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.

Earlier Event: December 2
Victorian Christmas
Later Event: May 29
Happy City Book Club