New ABCD in Action Facebook Group

By Dee Brooks, 2017-06-27

Hi All, 

A new Facebook Group is up and running to encourage the cross-pollination of the member's group discussions here and the sharing of resources, tools and networks on Facebook - please feel free to join in the sharing and come join us on FB:



Posted in: Other | 2 comments
The Nature of ABCD in Australia; an influential overview

On the suggestion and request of John McKnight, Judi and Dee pulled together some of the highlights, influences and challenges around ABCD in Australia! We had a lot of fun writing this and apologise for any omissions of people, places or practices! We know there's much more going on than this! The following is the intro and you can find the full paper here

"The following paper has been written from the perspective of two former staff members from the Family Action Centre (FAC), University of Newcastle; a strengths-based centre that was an early adopter and pioneer of ABCD work in Australia. The authors have both since left the employment of the FAC, yet, continue to support the work of ABCD in their current roles. They would also like to note the influential work undertaken by other Australian ABCD practitioners and supporters, particularly Ric Thompson, Chris Dureau, Peter Kenyon, Amanda Howard and Ted Smeaton (vale), who have all been major influencers in the development and application of ABCD in Australia."

Posted in: Other | 0 comments
Jeder Co-Labs; the internal mechanics of effective collective impact

I wrote a blog some months ago titled “Through the Looking Glass; a Blended Herstory” which was an attempt to synthesise almost 2 decades of work. This cathartic experience compelled me to create something flexible and adaptable to support community members in decision-making and to design something simple and easy to apply that could be sustained by the community itself.

I started experimenting with the ideas in Indonesia with great success and after sharing my initial learnings with Michelle, a Jeder Collective member, and she helped me tweak it further. What we have ended up with is a participatory, community-led, collective impact, leadership social lab on steroids, which we have named the Co-Lab initiative.

You can find out more about the ABCD Co-Labs and read the full blog here - we would love your feedback, thoughts or reflections!

The People Powered Change event this week was a significant moment in British social policy, says Kevin Harris.

Among the exhibits at yesterday's People Powered Change meeting was a picture of Jim Diers and Cormac Russell at the door of No 10 Downing Street. Does this mean community development has come of age? Here are two respected representatives of community development practice, poised at the threshold to influence British government at its heart. Has community development finally made it to respectability, ready to play a consistent role in social policy?

See the rest of this exciting article here

Posted in: Stories | 0 comments


Mosgiel's climate and library are good, but its traffic and swimming pool are bad, residents say.

East Taieri Church community facilitator Joy Davis has spent the past 18 months talking with Mosgiel groups and organisations, such as Plunket and Age Concern, and conducting a public survey on the area.

Click on the link for a look at the full article Taking a Look at the Negatives & Positives

Posted in: Stories | 0 comments

ABCD Stories from Coady Institute

By Dee Brooks, 2012-06-14

Hi All,

I was reminded today that I have not put up the link for the ABCD Stories - collected by the fabulous & inspiring Coady Institute...

There is a great collection of stories to read through - enjoy!



Posted in: Stories | 0 comments

ABCD in Holland

By Dee Brooks, 2012-09-10

Time to Serve: Hope freshmen give back to Holland by Peg McNichol


On a day they might have otherwise whiled away with friends or perhaps even studying, nearly 350 Hope College freshmen donated Saturday morning and the early afternoon to helping others.

After a brief meeting on campus, the students went out in teams of six to 10 people to more than 35 work sites.

"Our work is about asset-based community development. We work with the city they are great, because the city cares about enhancing homes, not fining homeowners," said Myers, a Western Seminary graduate and construction coordinator for 3sixty, a faith-based community group that works to stabilize neighborhoods by helping residents with everything from minor to major projects.

For more, see Holland Sentinel

Posted in: Stories | 0 comments

Show Me the Money!!!

By Dee Brooks, 2016-08-14

However much you can, that is...

For those who dont know the movie Jerry Maguire, Jerry is a sports agent who has a client who is considering jumping ship and who has coerced him to participate in a business conversation about pay rates by shouting, show me the money to prove his loyalty & as Jerry gets more excited, he is swept along with the wave of enthusiasm and excitement and rightly so, he scores a coup; he makes history, retains his client and boosts his business!

Whether this is a healthy relationship or not is not the point of this message, the point is; this scenario is an example of how business often works whether you are in the corporate or community services world. Its healthy competition, right?

In comparison, there are people on the fringes of community engagement, development and capacity building work who are doing things differently; no day rate, no donor expectations, no organisational hierarchy, no formal reports and, the best part is; its working (without shouting)!


The Sharing Economy is one part of this shift and at the Jeder Institute were seeing the benefits! We ask people UPON REGISTRATION to show us the money we ask them to give what they can and ask for what they need; no fixed fee, no pretention just simply; what can you afford? how can we support you to be part of this? if you are called to be part of this training/facilitation/event, we want you there how can we best help you? In addition, our budgets are always open to anyone and our communication to those who register reflects this.

This has not always been an easy road! We have had events we have had to cancel, venues who have not understood our intention, gatherings that have gone ahead with no profit to our organisation and people who have registered who have asked for more than what was offered but, there is a turning point and its based on transparency, relationships, trust and faith!

So we pursue! We do this because of our belief in the work of building capacity to build capacity and because we have a firm belief in sharing collective knowledge and empowering others to be a part of the benefits of this approach!

As community service workers and professionals, arent we all trying to help communities thrive? Isnt the purpose to inspire community members to be a part of the whole?

At our gatherings, we build an intentional village; we believe that everyone has something to offer and no one should miss out on attending something they are passionate about! So, we ask people what they can offer to the event; can they monitor the registration desk? can they offer an activity? will they help in the kitchen or clean up the room after each day is finished?

We started attempting to apply these concepts at our first Unconference in 2013. For that particular gathering, we had a regular registration fee but, we added one simple line to the form that read, The Unconference is completely funded through the registration fee. Every effort is made to ensure the registration fee is modest, covers expenses and offers a fair remuneration to the key-agitators team. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to discuss your financial position further and we had 60 people turn up to a non-traditional conference!

Fast forward to this year and we are extremely pleased to be working with Purpose Partners in Queensland, who are also on their own similar journey, and we are co-hosting 2 Art of Hosting events in Brisbane and Sydney where the participation fee details read as follows;


$A500A$900 (excluding GST)

An important learning we have been working with is how to appreciate and honour the diversity of economic factors that would encourage people to join us in participatory leadership work.

We invite you to be in this learning with us as we look to cover all costs, contribute to the economy of the international community and pay a reasonable fee to the hosts of the training.

We offer a sliding scale of $A500A$900 (excluding GST) that will include participation in the 3 day training, food and resources and encourage you to consider how you can be part of this amazing experience.

You get to decide what you consider to be a fair price, or within your training budget, and then we request that you consider offering a little more which could support others to attend.

If this is still beyond your capacity, please talk to us, or indicate this on your registration form. Help us walk our talk to assist as many willing people as possible to attend.

This might seem like a gamble to some people and I guess it is, of sorts, but we have witnessed the giving nature of people who are more than willing to reciprocate when they understand that we are not in it to make a buck or two (or 800) from them.

We have return customers (or friends, as we like to call them) who get excited when we announce a training, workshop or gathering and many of those friends turn up early to help set up the space, they donate their gifts and time and they stay afterwards to help us pack everything away.

We believe it takes a village to change humanity and with openness and trust, were witnessing the start of something quite phenomenal! With the overwhelming generosity of our friends (new and old) and the grateful relief of non-financial people who register, the hugs are a bonus!


Posted in: default | 0 comments
 / 6
Dee Brooks
Graeme Stuart Imtiaj Uddin Ahmed Siphosenkosi Ndlovu Anne Timms Tammy Flett Fasoranti Damilola Adrian Pyle Dave Cooper Michelle Dunscombe