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.

In her role as a faculty member with the ABCD Institute, Deb is active with faculty workgroups focused on the future of ABCD and is a member of the 2015 ABCD Festival planning team (June 2015, England). In addition, she is co-founder and lead manager of ABCD in Action (, an online community with more than 1,200 members from 50 countries. ABCD in Action is the designated Community of Practice (COP) for Asset-Based Community Development worldwide and partners with other ABCD-related organizations and groups (such as ABCD Europe and ABCD AsiaPacific)

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

  • Working in the “gap”: Exploring how ABCD can be used by organizations that work "in the gap," i.e., by people who work for institutions (including nonprofits, businesses and other local organizations) but whose work is focused on community. How can ABCD change the way that organizations do their work? What happens when we stop thinking of people as “clients” and start thinking of them as community members with gifts?
  • Facilitating community conversations, particularly using World Cafe tools and strategies: What happens when we invite people to come together to talk about questions that really matter, and to tap into their own personal gifts and talents to make change a reality?
  • Tapping into technology: How can we take advantage of the powerful tools available online to make connections between people within communities as well as from around the world?
  • Supporting self-determination for people with disabilities: What happens when people with disabilities are seen as full members of their communities, instead of just as recipients of services? How do communities and organizations promote opportunities for people with disabilities to contribute their gifts and talents?

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, presentations and meeting anytime over coffee (face-to-face or virtual) to talk about ideas for connecting, empowering, engaging communities.

Deb Wisniewski
Sharing Common Ground
608/345-4761 ​