Each one of us has gifts to offer, whether you’re a bookkeeper, beekeeper, barber. Do you know the gifts of that person sitting across from you? Do you know what yours are?
Your gifts are assets. Identifying and sharing those assets can increase the value of whatever situation, team, organization, neighbourhood, association, city, you are involved with.
A school, business, playground, shady tree, too, can be assets. Assets come in many forms.
Assets in my neighbourhood
I got to thinking about assets this week, in conversation with some neighbours. I’m often surprised to discover the amazing capacities of my neighbours, here in the South Jubilee neighborhood of Victoria.
In addition to my neighbourhood being a very welcoming place (as I previously shared here), its also rich in assets, and beyond those of a purely financial nature. I know because many of my neighborhood’s assets are identified, and located, on our Community Green Map, completed last year, aided by a small civic grant. (Click here to learn more about the international green map system)
Here’s an image of my neighbourhood’s community green map:
Below, I’ve enlarged the upper left corner of that map, the list of assets:
As you can see in my neighbourhood’s list of assets, we’ve only just begun. We have yet to intentionally inventory the human, financial, and entrepreneurial capacity of my neighbourhood. Once we’ve done that (hopefully the ball will role soon on that process), we’ll know the types of skills and experience available in the neighbourhood. Then we’ll figure out who cares enough about this information to act on it, to act together, and find ways that enable us to readily exchange our gifts, our assets.
Assets in your community
Asset-based community development seeks to uncover and utilize the strengths within communities as a means for sustainable development. On a local level, once awakened, these abundant communities show the power of families and neighbourhoods.
By viewing a community by its assets, rather than deficits, we highlight our strengths, diversity and richness of expertise, inclusiveness, and collective potential. For who knew that so and so could do this, or that he could do that, or that she had that background. And if we work together, there is much more we can do and be.
And it doesn’t have to be just the assets of your neighbourhood, that place where you live and work. It could just as well be your coffee group, project team, organization. association, virtual community…
How well do you know your community’s assets? If not very well, what’s holding your community back from inventorying its assets?
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