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Training Videos & Podcasts



DeAmon Harges on "The Rise" Project

"The Rise is a project where we attempt to prototype development with the people who inhabit the space. It is intended to discover new ways of really sharing power, wealth, and relationship beyond the normal scope of development. We bought a city block and our attempt is to illustrate new ways of designing policy around how we use land, how we transfer wealth, how we live into really equitable systems..."  - DeAmon Harges, 2021 Tom Locke Innovative Leader Award recipient video.

​​​ABCD in ​Higher Education: Story Sharing Series, 2022

Between January and July 2022, The ABCD Institute is hosting a series of virtual story sharing sessions on "ABCD in Higher Education." The series will showcase examples of how faculty, staff, and students at universities and colleges are intentionally doing - or trying to do - their work using an asset- or strengths-based approach, within their institutions or in their work with community partners.

Stories might include programs, initiatives, or short-term projects that illuminate successes and challenges. This is not limited to best practices and could include efforts that have been difficult at best.​

Click on arrows to see all of the various presentations.


Why Gifts Matter?

Asset-Based Community Development Practitioners talk about why gifts matter in the work they are doing

A Unique Asset Based Approach to Poverty Reduction with Paul Born, 2021

The Tamarack Institute in Canada has created a unique approach to reducing poverty in local communities. Their initiative in hundreds of cities has proven to be an effective method for engaging entire communities in poverty reduction.

John McKnight, Co-founder of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute interviews Paul Born, Co-CEO of the Tamarack Institute, as he shares their approach to mobilizing communities to launch campaigns for large scale change. Active in nearly 400 communities in Canada and the US, the Tamarack Institute provides both a methodology for organizing and the supports that make the work of large-scale community change easier and more effective.

A Unique Approach to Asset-Based Poverty Reduction

John McKnight and Gar Alperovitz in Conversation moderated by Jodie Evans, 2020

On July 22, in celebration of 40 years of the Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures, the Schumacher Center of a New Economics highlighted the work of past speakers, asking  for updates of their earlier remarks, and invited them to reflect on current conditions.  


Evaluating your ABCD Efforts (Tamarack Institute), 2020

John McKnight and Howard Lawrence discuss ways to evaluate ABCD community-building efforts using alternative approaches that do not rely as heavily on numbers and counting.

Evaluating your ABCD Efforts

ABCD Faculty member Dan Duncan on Collective Impact through the Lens of ABCD and RBA (Tamarack Institute), 2019


Cormac Russell and John McKnight discuss the unseen dynamic of power in community life, and wonder if there is a sort of hydraulic relationship between community space/effort and the institutional space/effort. How can institutional dependency be decreased and interdependency in community life be increased.


ABCD Institute Faculty member Cormac Russell: TEDx Exeter: Sustainable Community Development: Shifting from What's Wrong to What's Strong

How can we help people to live a good life? Instead of trying to right what's wrong within a community Cormac argues we need to start with what's strong. We need to help people discover what gifts they have and to use those gifts to enrich those around them. This video features a short overview of the history of ABCD, and stories of community efforts in the UK and Rwanda.


Death and Resurrection of an Urban Church

Broadway United Methodist Church in Indianapolis has redefined what it means to serve its urban community. Learn what faculty members, Mike Mather and DeAmon Harges are focusing on.

Read story on Abundant Community


John McKnight gives his keynote speech about the history, practice and future of ABCD

ABCD Faculty member Paul Schmitz on leadership and assets speaks at the Tamarack Institute

Paul shares how everyone has the potential to be a leader even in places where we don't look for leaders, especially in those places.


John McKnight on Where Change Begins

In his 40 years working with impoverished American communities, John McKnight witnessed incredible social change at the grassroots. He discovered that the majority of the solutions to issues like unwanted teenage pregnancy and crime depended on empowering local citizens and building relationships at the community level. Although social innovations disrupt the status quo in boundary-breaking and sector-spanning ways, change begins with the individual and their surrounding network. - Social Innovation Generation Plus.


ABCD - The Past, Present and Future: Al Etmanski Interviews John McKnight

ABCD Institute faculty member Al Etmanski is an author, advocate and social entrepreneur. President and co-founder of Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN), he led the successful campaign to establish the world’s first registered disability savings plan. Al has written two best-selling books: A Good Life and Safe and Secure. He is a founding member of the J. W. McConnell Family Foundation’s Social Innovation Generation (SIG) collaboration.


ABCD Institute Faculty member DeAmon Harges: TEDx Indianapolis: Making the Invisible Visible

At Broadway United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, ABCD Institute faculty member, DeAmon Harges is the original “Roving Listener.” By listening, he discovers the gifts, passions, and dreams of citizens in his neighborhood, using them to build community, economy and mutual delight. DeAmon’s work is rooted in ABCD, joining neighbors and institutions to discover the power of being a good neighbor. His organization Tesserae Learning Community brings those ideas and others to the forefront of community and organizational life.

As an artist, DeAmon uses his art for social change and community building. He characterizes his work as “deep listening” and “positive deviance.”


Cynthia Nikitin with Project for Public Spaces

Excerpt from Cynthia Nikitin- Reclaiming the Commons: Creating Community Agency & Ownership of Public Spaces and Resources


Richland Together, Let’s Connect!

This video explains what the Active Aging Research Center has done in Richland County with asset-based community development.
"Wonderful video is a very useful description of the variety of activities that ABCD can stimulate." – John McKnight.


John McKnight ABCD 101

A four-part video series of John McKnight introducing ABCD principles. Video posted on his website, the Abundant Community. 

ABCD 101 - part 1
View ABCD 101 part 2
View ABCD 101 part 3
View ABCD 101 part ​4

How can the University Work with Communities to Achieve ​Change? A Dialogue with John McKnight 

A Dialogue with John McKnight

Jim Diers Presentation at Coady International Institute

ABCD Faculty member Jim Diers explores the key steps towards fostering effective community-government partnerships through examples of his work in Seattle.

For Part 2 Click here...

MALAKAS! Using ABCD for the Design of Sustainable Cities

A 3-minute trailer and 40-minute full documentary that tells the story of how three communities in the Philippines were engaged in a participatory design process to design their own systems of organic waste management in support of local food production. The documentary describes the Asset Based Community Design (ABCD) approach that was used. It was made possible by an IDRC (International Development Research Center) ECOPOLIS Graduate Student Award. Co-directed and co-produced by Jeannette Tramhel with Mario Guzman.

MALAKAS! Using ABCD for the Design of Sustainable Cities. 40-minute documentary (2010).
MALAKAS! Using ABCD for the Design of Sustainable Cities. 3-minute Trailer (2010).

ABCD for Engaging Communities in Sustainability and Climate Action Resources
Resource list of videos and writings compiled by ABCD Faculty member Jennifer Hirsch.

Video Training Program: Mobilizing Community Assets

A downloadable training program based on Building Communities from the Inside Out (1995). The program consists of six separate modules, each lasting 30 to 45 minutes. They are below in fourteen 15-minute segments. John McKnight and John Kretzmann present clear, practical ways to mobilize the capacities of local residents, the power of citizens' associations, and the resources of local institutions to build stronger and more vibrant communities.

Segments 1 - 7

Segments 8 - 14

These segments may be downloaded. Send an e-mail to ABCD to request permission to reproduce copies for viewing.​​


John McKnight & Cormac Russell: The Connected Community

The Common Good Podcast
​John McKnight and Cormac Russell discuss their new book, The Connected Community: Discovering the Health, Wealth & Power of Neighborhoods.
Listen to the podcast.

De'Amon Harges: A Roving Listener​

Bottoms-Up Revolution Podcast

De'Amon Harges speaks with Rachel Quednau about his ABCD work and life as the Roving Listener.

Listen to the pod​cast.

Intangible Currencies and Social Banking with DeAmon Harges

DeAmon Harges  

Listening, being curious, is DeAmon Harges’ gift. It’s in his DNA. And like any good gift, the more he uses it, the more it expands, the greater the impact. When he listens, when he is curious and asks questions, he is better for it. His neighbor is better. His community is better. The world is better. His story reminds us to pay attention to the gifts within us and in each other, and as leaders, to pay attention to the gifts in our organizations and then to lean into those gifts. 

Listen to the podcast​

Empowering Communities to Discover and Use their Assets to Create Change 

ABCD Faculty member Ron Dwyer-Voss, discusses how ABCD draws on existing strengths of local residents, associations, and institutions to build stronger, healthier, and more sustainable communities. He shares  strategies, tools, and examples of how ABCD can be used to engage community residents and support them in understanding and applying their power to improve their neighborhoods.

Listen to the podcast

John McKnight on Community and Its Counterfeits

Community and Its Counterfeits, Part One
Community and Its Counterfeits, Part Two
Community and Its Counterfeits, Part Three

A series of three programs John McKnight recorded for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Ideas program in 1994 with commentator David Cayley. The transcripts for this show were among the most requested of Cayley's productions and they have recently been made available as podcasts.

Discussion on Gifts

Faculty member Bruce Anderson of the Core Gifts Institute discusses the types and the importance of gifts with Katie Elliot of Little Challenges.

DeAmon Harges: The Dreams and Aspirations Behind a Youth-Led Bike Shop in Indianapolis

boys riding bikes

DeAmon Harges: Building Community, Economy and Mutual Delight

Robert Thompson and co-host Mike Neiss continue their Leadership for the Common Good blogtalkradio series with an interview with ABCD Institute faculty member, De Amon Harges. DeAmon is the original “Roving Listener” as a neighbor and staff member of the Broadway United Methodist Church in Indianapolis. His role is to listen and discover the gifts, passions and dreams of citizens in his community, and to find ways to utilize them in order to build community, economy and mutual “delight.”​

Listen to the Podcast

odcast: Rob Hopkins interviews ABCD Faculty member Cormac Russell on Asset -Based Community Development
Listen to the Podcast

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