Asset-Based Community Development
Rather than focusing our efforts on merely filling in gaps, ABCD highlights a community’s assets, skills, passions, and talents in order to collaborate with and empower individuals, agencies, and organizations in creating solutions and affecting systemic change. In a sense, ABCD views the community’s glass as half full. It looks at the community as having the means to solve their social issues.
The ABCD lens seeks to empower decision-making and solution-ideation among community members based on their strengths, not their weaknesses. This puts the focus on creating opportunities to solve social issues.
ABCD helps us transition from looking at what’s wrong in a community to what’s strong in a community. It also moves us from merely working in the community to working with the community so change is implemented by the community. In doing so, ABCD shifts the focus from programs to people.
Society is composed of individuals and groups of people who live, work, and play across private and public domains. These domains organize how people interact and collaborate. Those working and living within these domains meet the basic needs of society and keep it functioning.
Domains form the grid of society. Impacting society for the common good can become more beneficial once the domains a community operates in are identified through jobs, skills, talents, and hobbies.
The domains of society become crucial in the transformation of a city. Those who assume leadership in these spheres of influence have the potential to completely reshape their community and their city by reshaping its values, priorities, and practices. They represent the fabric of society and allow for collaboration and diversity to flourish.
Relationships define people. It is through relationships that people discover their identity in order to learn and grow. Therefore, relationships are central to affecting change. This is why The New Common helps people to form, strengthen, and repair relationships.
Collaboration breeds widespread change. Throughout history, changes to society have often been a result of numerous people contributing their unique assets to achieve a common goal. For this reason, The New Common helps people collaborate in order to advance positive change.
Communities benefit from diversity. When they are characterized by diversity in stories, experiences, skills, and knowledge the community flourishes. By integrating these elements in its initiatives, The New Common promotes diversity.
People are creative beings. Whether people are artists, lawyers, carpenters, teachers, or are one of the numerous other professions, they are all involved in the process of creating something. The New Common helps people use their creativity to positively impact others.
Empowerment happens when people have a choice. The New Common helps facilitate a person’s choice as to how they want to be involved to benefit others in their community through using or developing skills, talents, and passions.