Author Biographies :: Al Etmanski

Al Etmanski

Al Etmanski is a community organizer, social entrepreneur and author. ( (@aletmanski ) His latest book is Impact: Six Patterns to Spread Your Social Innovation.
He is a faculty member of John McKnight’s Asset Based Community Development Institute (ABCD), an Ashoka fellow, senior fellow Social Innovation Generation and Co-Chair of BC Partners for Social Impact.
Al is co-founder of Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN), a family run social enterprise assisting families address the financial and social well-being of their relative with a disability, particularly after their parents die.  He proposed and led the successful campaign to establish the world’s first savings plan for people with disabilities, the Registered Disability Savings Plan.
John McKnight endorsed Al's new book as follows:
Impact is a chronicle of the wisdom Etmanski has gained in exploring the keys to long-term social change. His findings lead us out of the past and onto a pathway for progress in the 21st century.
Once describing Al as an Abundant Community Pioneer, Peter Block wrote:  
Al Etmanski is one of North America's best social inventors. He has looked beyond traditional institituions and their failures to create new means of achieving a better life. His analysis of the forms of organization that enable local communities while avoiding rigid hierarchies is groundbreaking.
His book A Good Life is a wonderful and practical guide to the potential for neighbors to grow strong through the power of hospitality. 

Articles by this Author…

Take a Leap – Take a Bold Leap

Posted on August 28, 2017 in Posts

The formal system not working for you? Then take a leap.… read more »

Forget Your Perfect Offering

Posted on April 27, 2017 in Posts

Sage advice: Stop looking for concepts or tools that might be better than the ones you currently use. Your association with frailty, vulnerability and imperfection will serve you better anything or anyone that promises certainty.… read more »

Tough Love

Posted on February 13, 2017 in Posts

A Valentine’s essay for all the caring change-makers out there, especially those whose efforts are ignored or misunderstood.… read more »

Eight Questions for Thinking and Acting Like a Movement

Posted on June 1, 2016 in Posts

Movements open our hearts and minds. They create the favorable political conditions for legislative change, resource allocation and policy shifts that lead to profound social change.… read more »

Encyclopedia House

Posted on November 30, 2015 in Posts

Only when we know the gifts living in our own communities and understand what we are already doing will we understand what we are capable of.… read more »

A River Runs through John

Posted on August 13, 2015 in Posts

Cormac Russell's new book, Looking Back to Look Forward, is the river running through John McKnight. It reminds us that when we are in flow, our activities and those of others, past and future merge into one. The world is made fresh and we are no longer as alone as we thought.… read more »

Innovation Is Birthed from Disorder

Posted on August 10, 2015 in Posts

When your experience compels you to seek something different and your intuition beckons you off the beaten track in your quest to make the world better, be wary of voices that try to bring intellectual order to your exploration too soon.… read more »

Social Innovation: A Definition of Opportunity

Posted on May 11, 2015 in Posts

When asked recently to define social innovation Etmanski replied rather off-handedly that it’s a combination of the old, the new and the surprising. Not much of a definition, he says, but then again the ambiguity might be useful.… read more »

Belonging: A 21st Century Challenge

Posted on August 20, 2012 in Posts

The challenge of Belonging is unprecedented. It crosses boundaries, across sectors, groups, and disciplines. It affects all of us directly or indirectly. Our traditional safety nets are not set up to respond.… read more »

Social Innovation - Doing More With More

Posted on May 26, 2011 in Posts

Is "social innovation" a way to off-load responsibilities to communities without additional resources? Or is it about doing more with more?… read more »