ABCD Institute > Institute Faculty > Deb Wisniewski

Deb Wisniewski

Deb Wisniewski is a committed connector who believes that our communities need us all, that we all have gifts and talents to share. She loves to discover the hidden treasures in each community and to explore how we can each make a difference. Through her consulting practice, she has worked with a wide variety of groups and organizations – from both nonprofits and businesses to governmental and tribal agencies – to explore how we can build on the skills of local residents, the power of local associations and the supportive functions of local institutions.

Over the last 3+ years, Deb has been working extensively with museums and libraries through the United States, providing coaching and learning opportunities as they seek to change from community anchors to community catalysts. (For more information on this initiative)

Deb is a co-founder and the lead manager of ABCD in Action, an online community with more than 2600 members from over 75 countries. ABCD in Action is the designated online Community of Practice (COP) for the ABCD Institute and partners with other ABCD-related organizations and groups around the world. In addition, she also services as a faculty member and steward for the ABCD Institute and is active in several Institute workgroups, including the Rural Communities and ABCD workgroup. 

​​Through her consulting business, Deb’s particular areas of interest and expertise have included the following:

  • The changing roles of Institutions: How can local institutions (such as libraries and museums) change the nature of their relationship to the communities that they serve? What happens when they start leading by stepping back, when they start thinking about supporting the power of local residents?
  • Facilitating community conversations, particularly using World Cafe and Open Space Technology: What happens when we invite people to come together to talk about questions that really matter, and to tap into their own personal gifts, talents, and passions to make change a reality?
  • Supporting self-determination for people with disabilities: All communities need the gifts and talents of people with disabilities. How can communities and organizations promote opportunities for people with disabilities to be contributing members? How can deficit-focused services think about the people they support from a different perspective?​

You can learn more about Deb by checking out her LinkedIn profile: Feel free to contact Deb with any questions you have. She is available for training, technical assistance, organizational coaching, and presentations. Let's find a time to meet over coffee (virtual) to talk about ideas for connecting, empowering, engaging communities.​

Deb Wisniewski
Sharing Common Ground
(608) 345-4761​​