Today was the opening day of the ABCD (Asset-Based Community Development) for Healthy Neighbourhoods event in Ontario, Canada - hence the "u" in Neighbourhoods. Perhaps a good summary of the concept of ABCD is the statement "We're enough... already." This came from one of the presenters, Al Etmanski, this morning. The idea is that that we all have something to contribute and that we are all needed. If we are connected with each other, we can accomplish great things. We can also accomplish simple-but-important things, like caring for each other.
In the afternoon, we took a tour of some places in Kitchener that are using an ABCD perspective. My favorite parts of the Mill Courtland Community Centre were the music studio for young neighborhood musicians and the Cob Oven (made from clay/sand/straw/water)! Don't worry, I took a picture of the oven. As you might imagine, it serves as a great neighborhood gathering place - even on a wintry day like today.
Tomorrow we will reconvene to learn from keynote speakers, John McKnight and Donna Thomson, and to share challenges, questions, and ideas with our learning lab groups.