A life of my own choosing, health through the lens of abcd


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Presentation delivered by Cormac Russell (Keynote) in Preston, Uk. 2012.

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  • The Asset Based approach looks at things through a different lens: it tries to understand where the opportunities are, and what strengths can be built on.
  • Lets look more closely at this. Starting with needs. Sometimes when people present ABCD they present it as a polemic between needs and assets. To me that somewhat of a superficial interpretation. ABCD is not suggesting that we ignore needs in preference for assets, but that we take care as to how we understand needs. Most psychologists now agree that there are four fundamental needs. See slide… So ABCD begs the question how do we as helpers address for example security needs in a way that does not harm autonomy, competency and belonging. Can you think of any examples from your own life experience when someone in an honest effort to help inadvertently undermined the need for autonomy, competence or belonging of the person or community they were endeavouring to assist?
  • One that recognises that ‘we can never know what a community needs, until they know for themselves what they have’. We as a Foundation can start a new more empowering trend in how we use our assets to support communities to build real power for change, leaving behind us a legacy of competent, capable citizens working together in a way that includes everyone; instead of clients who depend solely on services and programmes. In this way the vision of Forever Manchester can come alive in every neighbourhood, home and organisation in the city. Imagine a Manchester where we all identify, connect and mobilse our assets towards a shared vision…..Forever Manchester..
  • But this kind of change has to go with the grain of life and has to happen where people live their lives: in neighbourhoods.
  • By doing this we change the old way of working which put us in the driving seat of the transaction.
  • To a process of grass roots grant making and community building that puts citizens in the led. Of course we want to do this in a way that does not simply give gate keepers more power, and this is why Asset Based Community Development as a process matters so much: it shows us a clear way that everyone can be included and everyone’s voice can be heard.
  • For policy makers as well as traditional community leaders the new starting point in my humble option is at the fire side, the one on one conversations, and the neighbourhood organising, that’s where Britain will begin to coproduce and re-weave its wellbeing and future in terms of its economic prosperity, it environmental sustainable and the welfare of all its citizen in real partnership with Government, the Third Sector and the Corporate Sector, that to my mind is the path from so-called Broken Britain to a truly Caring Society. But they cannot hope to reap that harvest until they plough the soil, and I think that’s where people like us come in. Thank you!
  • A life of my own choosing, health through the lens of abcd

    1. 1. A life of my own choosing Asset Based Community Development Cormac Russell, ABCD Institute
    2. 2. ABCD in a nutshell
    3. 3. About the ABCD Institute <ul><li>Est. 1995, </li></ul><ul><li>Northwestern </li></ul><ul><li>University, Illinois </li></ul><ul><li>Presence on every continent throughout the world. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Tell us a story….. <ul><li>‘ Can you tell us a story about a time when </li></ul><ul><li>you and your neighbours came together to </li></ul><ul><li>make things better?’ </li></ul>
    5. 5. people focused their attention on…. <ul><li>What can be done instead of what can’t be done </li></ul>What might be possible if rather than problems more than weaknesses
    6. 6. The Dilemma . . . Children and Families have deficiencies & needs Children and Families also have skills and talents On which should we focus most?
    7. 7. Fundamental Needs Security Autonomy Belonging Competence ? Emotional & Material Agency. Independence. Sense of efficacy in the world. Plus authenticity Community, Family & Friends, as giver & receiver Ability to sustain tasks of choosing, to contribute. Security Belonging Competence Autonomy Russell, C (2010)
    8. 10. Festival Day in Thornton Heath-Sept 18, 2011
    9. 11. And on the day people were invited to share their gifts….
    10. 12. This is Shirley with her neighbour...Shirley is a neighbourhood connector
    11. 13. Why have a meeting when you can have a party?
    12. 14. The connectors want to discover hidden treasure and build relationships….
    13. 15. They had already knocked on doors, and heard peoples stories like Mr and Mrs Ahmed…..
    14. 16. Paul Macey who is a wonderful Community Builder, and is facilitating the process on behalf of Croydon Voluntary Action and Croydon NHS sat with Peggy and heard her story….
    15. 17. And Peggy and Mr & Mrs Ahmed were connected
    16. 18. The connectors have experienced the power of connecting people…
    17. 19. And they have been mapping local associations too….
    18. 20. And seeing the huge potential for connecting these assets also….
    19. 21. And the older people will have plenty to teach the kids as well…
    20. 22. Bingo!!!!
    21. 23. Being intentional about the process of engagement, mapping: a) associations; b) capacity/contribution and then invitation
    22. 24. What formal or informal groups are you part of?
    23. 25. What are your skills and talents?
    24. 26. What gifts and talents would you like to share?
    25. 27. Wow! That many? What would happen if we had these conversations with everyone in Thornton Heath?
    26. 29. Young people are leaders of today, not tomorrow, we invite them in. The message on the day: Thornton Heath needs you, we can not do this without you…
    27. 30. The art of conversation, conversations matter….
    28. 31. And they stayed for the vision….
    29. 33. Even strangers are Twice as Likely to Assist as You Think Studies by Flynn & Lake (2010) of Columbia University show that people underestimate how likely others are to help by as much as 100%
    30. 34. News flash: the streets of Thornton Heath were filled today with young people (and the young at heart) making fun…and Community
    31. 35. Even strangers are Twice as Likely to Assist as You Think Studies by Flynn & Lake (2010) of Columbia University show that people underestimate how likely others are to help by as much as 100%
    32. 36. ‘ You can’t know what you need, till you know what you have…’
    33. 37. The glass is half full…..
    34. 38. <ul><li>There are things that only we can do </li></ul><ul><li>through people powered change to have a </li></ul><ul><li>good and healthy life…. </li></ul>
    35. 39. Insert 12 domains over 4 slides <ul><li>Plus Tessy’s slides </li></ul>
    36. 44. My Vision <ul><li>Kevin Russell </li></ul>
    37. 45. My Good Life <ul><li>Real friends </li></ul><ul><li>A relationship like Cormac has </li></ul><ul><li>A real job </li></ul><ul><li>Enough money to do the things I like </li></ul>
    38. 46. My Good Life begins at Home <ul><li>I live at home with my wonderful Mom and Dad </li></ul><ul><li>I am a proud Limerick </li></ul><ul><li>man </li></ul>
    39. 47. Social inclusion? Where it matters? Participation Friendship Intimacy Economic Exchange
    40. 48. Full circles indicate capacity to deal with life and are a powerful measure of health in our society.
    41. 49. Our Solutions are often not fit for purpose
    42. 50. Real change…
    43. 51. Person Centered Work The move is from services to clients to supports for citizens Community Centered Work Health
    44. 52. Doing work the old way
    45. 53. Processes with ownership
    46. 54. Before you reap the harvest…..
    47. 55. Strengths-based Community Development Methodology Discovering Strengths Organizing & Mapping Linking and Mobilizing Community Driven Initiatives Sustaining the Process
    48. 56. Contact <ul><li>Cormac Russell, </li></ul><ul><li>ABCD Institute & Nurture Development </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>