Cormac Russell

Cormac Russell is Managing Director of Nurture Development, Director of ABCD Europe and a faculty member of the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute at Northwestern University, Chicago. He has trained communities, agencies, NGOs and governments in ABCD and other strengths-based approaches in Kenya, Rwanda, Southern Sudan, South Africa, the UK, Ireland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Canada and Australia. In January 2011 Cormac was appointed to the Expert Reference Group on Community Organising and Communities First, by Nick Hurd MP, Minister for Civil Society in the UK which he served on for the term of the Group. Examples of recent work include: Leading all national sporting organizations in Canada, in conjunction with the Canadian Council for Ethics in Sport, to adopt a shared vision as to how sport can become an asset for community building. This is effecting significant changes in the structures of major sporting organizations but also at a local community level in terms of community empowerment and citizen driven development. Advising I&Dea in the UK on the development of an asset based approach to health and on addressing health inequalities in low income communities as well as how an assets approach can improve community health and well-being. Partnering with Youth Work Ireland on a national program involving hundreds of youth practitioners and thousands of young citizens to develop a strong culture of youth led initiatives. Working in partnership with the University of Limerick and Atlantic Philanthropies in Ireland to infuse an ABCD approach across the entire city of Limerick. Part of this process involved organizing an entire neighborhood to address issues of loneliness, fear and intimidation and to support citizen driven development. The long-term vision is of a city that puts citizens and communities in the driving seat, through processes of neighborhood organizing and bottom up planning and where services are organized in the way in which community is organized. 
13 POSTS

Rekindling Democracy: A Professional’s Guide to Working in Citizen Space

Cormac's post is an adaptation of the Introduction to his just-published book, Rekindling Democracy: A Professional's Guide to Working in Citizen Space. Abundant Community readers can buy the book at a 40% discount by contacting Wipf and Stock Publishers at orders@wipfandstock.com and quoting the...

Asset Based Community Development: How to Get Started

Booklet for residents on how to develop their communities and encourage others to contribute toward creating a good quality of life. Read or download here. Published by the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences 2019. Posted under a Creative Commons license. See Nurture...

Death Brings a Community to Life

On Saturday, April 1, 1978, in the village of Brosna, County Kerry, Ireland, the burial of a local man punctuated an otherwise normal day. Tradition had it in those days that friends and relations of the deceased dug the...

The Four Essential Elements of an Asset-Based Community Development Process

Click here to download the full paper The primary goal of an Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) process is to enhance collective citizen visioning and production. This paper discusses each of four essential elements in detail in an effort to answer...

How Community Animators Work Around the World

About every six weeks, for the last five years, John and Peter have hosted online / dial-up conversations with community-building pioneers as their guests. For their July 25, 2017 dialog they invited Cormac Russell to share his experiences in...

Our 13 Staging Posts in Learning and Development

Editor’s note: Cormac Russell is managing director of Nurture Development, a UK based consulting and research organization that seeks to support communities to reduce institutionalization and increase interdependency in community life. To mark the organization’s 21st birthday, he wrote...

Cormac Russell on Change That Starts with Communities

Cormac Russell was raised on the west coast of Ireland, and now lives in Dublin, although he spends much of his time travelling.  He promotes the idea of Asset-Based Community Driven Efforts, and while some of his work is based...

Sustainable Community Development: From What’s Wrong to What’s Strong

How can we help people to live a good life? Instead of trying to right what's wrong within a community, Cormac argues we need to start with what's strong. We need to help people discover what gifts they have...

12 Thoughts on Inclusive Community Building for 2016

January When we lose the ability to care for our neighbours, we also inadvertently chart a course towards a future wherein that carelessness becomes our inheritance. Neighbourliness is embodied in the practice of welcomiReflectionsng the stranger at the edge, and the...

Looking Back to Look Forward: The Intellectual Heritage of Asset-Based Community Development

In 1995 John McKnight and Jody Kretzmann convened a circle of friends to help them establish the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute at Northwestern University. The Institute was built on John and Jody’s work and research over more than...