Inviting Neighbors to Participate in Community Development


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This video illustrates a 5 question door-to-door survey that you can ask neighbors. This tool helps people in neighborhoods connect with each other, and also helps to define a neighborhood community vision from the residents themselves.

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Deb Wisniewski
03/04/13 09:13:55PM @deb-wisniewski:

I thought this was a nice video, with some simple questions for starting conversations.


Solomon Alemu Tolla
05/03/13 03:15:51AM @solomon-alemu-tolla:

I found it interesting and applicable. Thank you.


Ron Dwyer-Voss
07/17/13 10:08:31AM @ron-dwyer-voss:

Just saw this....its great! So many sure fire approches in 3 minutes. Love it!


Clara Herrera
12/23/13 10:45:26AM @clara-herrera:

Your approach is inspiring; I look forward to hear more from you. Blessings


Deb Wisniewski
12/23/13 01:47:04PM @deb-wisniewski:
Thanks for kind words, Clara. I wish I could take credit for the video... I found it on YouTube ;) but I agree that it's got great ideas in it.
Benson Adjei
01/26/14 01:09:46PM @benson-adjei:
Simple no nonsense approach to inspire people to want to take collective action to better their community. I love this!
Deb Wisniewski
01/27/14 12:20:41PM @deb-wisniewski:

I agree Benson... I know some folks that used a variation on these questions with some school-aged youth, asking them what they & their friends could do to make things better in their school. They got some interesting answers.


Dan Duncan
01/27/14 01:01:42PM @dan-duncan:

Thanks for posting on ABCD in Action. I really like the simplicity of the questions and the focus on building relationships and trust.


Deb Wisniewski
07/20/15 12:32:50PM @deb-wisniewski:

Oh no! This video seems have disappeared off of Youtube. I'm going to see if I can track down what happened to it.

In the meantime, here are the five questions they suggest asking (paraphrased by me):

  1. How long have you lived in this community/neighborhood? (I find this gets at more than just saying the amount of time... often opens up the conversation and you find out a lot about the person's connections to their community)
  2. What do you love about your community? (People in many neighborhoods are seldom asked that, especially those in "troubled" communities. A great positive way to start a conversation)
  3. If you could wave a magic wand, what would you change in your community? (notice it's not worded as "what's wrong"... also gets at what's important to the person, in a non-threatening way)
  4. What skills or talents do you have that could help make that change happen? (once they show what's important to them, they may be more willing to share their gifts and talents than if you had started with this question).
  5. Would you be willing to get together with other people who are interested in making this change happen to talk about what you can do together? (gets beyond just mapping the assets and starts making the connections between people)

Hope this helps! I'm not sure if I will find the original video, but I will repost it if I do.


Deb Wisniewski
About Deb Wisniewski
Greetings! I'm a connector... I love to help people connect to each other, to share their ideas and to get involved in in their communities. I'm also a Faculty member of the ABCD Institute and a co-founder and lead online community coordinator for ABCD in Action. Feel free to contact with your suggestions, questions, etc. about this great online community.