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Training Videos & Podcasts

DVD Training Program: ABCD in Action

ABCD in Action profiles five diverse groups who have utilized the principles of ABCD to create partnerships with those they serve and, in effect, rejuvenate and revitalize their organizations (2008). Based on the community work of ABCD faculty members Mike Green and Henry Moore. Available from Inclusion Press.

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Video Training Program: Mobilizing Community Assets

A downloadable training program based on Building Communities from the Inside Out (1995).

The overwhelming response to Building Communities from the Inside Out created a demand for additional training in the ideas, tools and methods it describes. This video training program introduces the concept of "asset-based community development" as a new and more effective method of community building. 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 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

John McKnight on Community Assets and Interviews

John McKnight, co-director of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute and Professor Emeritus of Communications Studies and Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University, presents "Community Assets and Interviews" during day one of the Abundant Community Experience at R-Squared -- The Risk & Reward Conference held in Telluride, Colorado, September 9-11, 2012.

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.

John McKnight ABCD 101

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

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

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. In Ralph Ellison’s novel The Invisible Man, a man discovers his true self and how to others he’s invisible. People judge him because of where he lives. They see everything but him; he’s a figment of their imagination. His invisibility isn’t the problem; it was the construction of their eyes. In marginalized places, people's gifts are invisible. What if we bothered to take a deeper look? What if we took the time to visit, connect, identify and celebrate those gifts and share the rich lived experience of those we pretend not to see! We may see our own greatness through their reflection.

At Broadway United Methodist Church ABCD Institute faculty member, DeAmon Harges (Indianapolis, IN USA), 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 the Asset-Based Community Development (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” — a big difference from typical models of neighborhood organizing.

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.”

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boys riding bikes

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

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.

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Artist image

DeAmon Harges: Door Project Inspires Artists  and Neighbors in Indianapolis

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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.

 ​The Hydraulics of Community Power

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 can be increased.

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ABCD for Engaging Communities in Sustainability and Climate Action Resources

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).

Making Great Public Spaces - Parts 1 and 2

Cynthia Nikitin with Project for Public Spaces presents "Making Great Public Spaces" during day two of the Creative Spaces Experience at R-Squared -- The Risk & Reward Conference held in Telluride, Colorado, from September 9 to 11, 2012.

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

Cormac Russell on Children 1st

Speech delivered by ABCD Institute faculty member Cormac Russell in Scotland in December 2013.
"One of the best summaries of ABCD resources I have seen." – John McKnight


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. ​​