Six elements of a Village In The City
Mark McKergow, Edinburgh, Scotland
You want to start, grow or enhance your local neighbourhood community… but where to start on what to focus on next? Mark McKergow will share and discuss Village In The City’s six elements ( – six building blocks which, while separate, are all interlinked. They provide a practical focus for helping you to look around, see what’s already there in your community, think about how to build on it, find the next areas to focus and create a balanced and functioning micro-local neighbourhood community. Mark will describe using this framework in Edinburgh’s West End neighbourhood.

Simulation Games for Community Participation

Mohammad Issa, Palestine
Simulation games transform participants into stakeholders and let them experience the roots and dynamics of a given community challenge. The method is a great tool to improve social skills in general. Further, simulation games foster a deeper understanding of the given topic. They improve empathy and help to stimulate self-reflection processes. By that, they also promote critical thinking and collective decision making process.

ABCD and agroecology: Can conceptual reframing help ABCD to gain more prominence?
Lisa Fuchs, Kenya, Levi Orero, Nairobi
Langat Kipkorir, Victoria Apondi, Cannell van Dien
This session will look into the congruence between ABCD and agroecology, and will explore in which ways a reframing of ABCD in agroecological terms might help to both increase the remit and prominence of ABCD, and to deepen the social dimensions of agroecology in theory and practice. The session will draw on work and practical experiences of the ABCD team from World Agroforestry (ICRAF) in Kenya.

ABCD – The catalyst to pioneering Enterprise Development
Amelia Visagie, South Africa
One of the Mining companies in South Africa was the main sponsor of an Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) project implemented by leading consulting engineering and infrastructure advisory firm Zutari. This was highlighted by a successful Enterprise Exhibition hosted on behalf of Olifantshoek communities in the Northern Cape on 27 January. The Enterprise Exhibition was the culmination of over two years’ fruitful collaboration between the Mine, Zutari, the Olifantshoek Community and key stakeholders, including the Local Municipality. The process commenced in early 2020 amidst the initial outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Local volunteers were recruited after being nominated through ABCD and an asset mapping process and then trained through a mixture of on-site and digital processes. The project required dynamic and innovative strategies to navigate the Covid-19 climate. The volunteers came to be known as the “Olifantshoek Iron Champions”, spreading messages of hope and positivity, as well as disseminating vital Covid-19 related messaging on a variety of social media platforms. “Development must start from the community, with knowledge and assets which are already present. Assets are everywhere and in every form. South Africa has long suffered from so-called experts and outside entities dictating what they think communities need. This has regularly hampered development, especially in rural communities,” Associate and Programme Manager Amelia Visagie explains about Zutari’s ABCD programme.

Community Conversation

Looking to chat with your fellow Unconference participants, and make new connections in a relaxed, informal setting? This is the session for you with rich discussion and great networking!

Cancelled- Nurturing the soil: creating conditions for community-led change
Jaime Smith, Nova Scotia Canada

How a folkschool changed my community: a practical guide for setting up a skills sharing platform from the grassroots
Jennifer DeCoste, Nova Scotia Canada
The LifeSchoolHouse is a community-led network of barter-based folkschools with a simple idea: connecting a community of folks keen to share or learn new skills greatly reduces social isolation and loneliness. Having recently completed a four year innovation cycle, this community project has written a “story bundle” that is being offered into the commons as a gift to those who would like to learn from this project and build folkschools in their own neighbourhood. Join in to hear the stories of these folkschool hosts and to learn practical tips for launching programming of your own!

Community Music as a tool in Community Building

Rory Wells, United Kingdom
Marc Mcaleavey, United States
This session will explore music as a tool in community building. Drawing on Community Music practices this 30 minute session will provide a chance for participants to come together and explore relationship building through music. There will be opportunities to learn practical tools of how to use music in community building, learn about the connections between community music and ABCD and have fun making music together online! Open to all abilities and musical experiences, this session will connect to the core musicality that’s innate to us as human beings.

Share your Skill
Lee Chase & Sean Moore, United States
Share Your Skill is an initiative to eradicate the stigma surrounding low literacy for adults by celebrating the skills that make up Memphis. There are two stations that move to a different library each month and one to take to community events. Participants will fill out a bookmark by writing or drawing their skill. If they do not wish to do so, there’s a QR code they can scan or a phone number they can call or text to share their skill. The purpose of the project is to highlight that regardless of reading level, every person has at least one skill or talent they are proud of. At the end of the year, an art project will be created to highlight all of the different skills that are shared.

The Sweet Art of Neighboring (Borrowing Sugar Optional)
Joel Zaslofsky, United States
As Bob Moorehead once said, “We’ve been to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor.” Are we doomed to disconnection from the people literally closest to us? ABCD laughs at such a silly question! Let’s look around the global landscape of neighbor-based ABCD initiatives and discuss questions like: * What if the next job you wanted, family support you needed, or personal health ally is just a neighbor away? * What becomes possible when a short walk down the block unlocks fulfillment, safety, or impact the Internet can never provide?

The Well Grounded programme on the Community Centred and Asset Based Approach: the harvest of our experimental journey (in French)
Audrey Ibin, Cameroon
Danny Mungamuni Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
Guillaume sota Kampala, Uganda
Le programme ACCA de Well Grounded a été construit autour de trois trajectoires avec des approches de coaching co-construites. La première trajectoire observée est celle de l’équipe de facilitateurs de Well Grounded. La deuxième trajectoire est le résultat du soutien des facilitateurs de Well Grounded aux champions ACCA des organisations de la société civile. La troisième réunit les OSC et les communautés qu’elles soutiennent. Au cours de ce pèlerinage, les pratiques et outils ABCD ont été testés. Nous avons tiré des leçons sur l’utilisation des outils ABCD que nous souhaitons partager avec le reste de la communauté des praticiens afin d’informer sur la manière dont le contexte du Bassin du Congo a influencé les trajectoires de l’ACCA Well Grounded.

The Story of Belonging Brant- So far
Tara Buchanan, Rishia Burke, Ontario Canada
Join us as we weave together our stories of belonging through story telling and small group sharing. Belonging Brant is a Citizen lead ABCD initiative that started in October of 2020 in Brantford Ontario. We have been finding creative ways to connect and learn with community for the last 2 years, aiming to elevate the voices of champions and focusing on all the gifts that surround us. We want to share our victories and challenges for trying something new in our community. We will then invite you to experience the “Triad” in small group sharing. In the end we will have a patchwork of global stories and ideas that will inspire us to grow together to build stronger communities.

Shifting from within – Using governance to facilitate systemic change
Jess Wyatt, Ray Soellner, Baltimore United States
The definition of “Governance” is the “overseeing the control and direction of something”. How can we use ABCD to shift the definition from “control” to “co-creation”? To move away from the models of control, we believe weaving ABCD principles and practices into established governance structures can be used to dismantle harmful systems and build new futures within institutional structures. Governance structures, in particular shared governance models, can be fertile ground for systemic change Diverse participation Opportunities for collaboration Established structures to allow for generational consistency Participants will leave with ideas, tools, and strategies on how to better weave ABCD practices and principles into their already existing structures.

Closing Plenary: a participatory reflection and action session

Dee Brooks, Australia

Mary Nelson, United States

Where are we now? What have we learned? Where do we go from here? Join us in closing this year’s unconference by participating in a collective harvest that takes us on a journey of reflection, curiosity, and hope. Together, we’ll imagine the future of ABCD in our communities, and leave ready for another year of putting it all into action!

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