Module 9: ABCD Wrap-Up
This course on ABCD has presented a lot of information. Perhaps it can be best summarized and described, though, via Kretzmann’s “portrait of a healthy and inclusive community.”(1) If the ABCD approach is implemented judiciously—that is, if participation in and ownership of a project give community members agency in re-envisioning their own destinies—the following aspects will manifest in the resulting community.
The community will be one that:
- Understands, accepts, and embraces change
- Seeks broad-based participation
- Focuses on sustainable triple bottom line (economic vitality, environmental integrity, community well-being)
- Values collaboration
- Knows and builds on the community’s assets, capacities, skills, comparative advantages and points of difference
- Continually renews and builds diversified leadership base
- Encourages civic pride
- Champions passionate and entrepreneurial attitudes and behaviors
As McKnight reminds us in the Mobilizing Community Assets video training program,
“Nothing we have presented is a map, it’s not a strategic plan, it’s not a model. Communities evolve from the wisdom of citizens. And what we have been talking about … is a path, a direction, but not a template, not a cookie-cutter. We think that when citizens are allowed to be creative in association, that they will make that path.”(2)
(1) Kretzmann, John P. Class Lecture. “The ABCD Approach & Temporary Volunteer Projects.” Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. June 2009.
(2) McKnight, J., and Kretzmann, J. Mobilizing Community Assets: The Video Training Program for Building Communities from the Inside Out. ACTA Publications, 1996.