The Hydraulics of Community Power

John and I often chat about what’s currently on our mind in terms of Asset-Based Community Development approaches. We thought it might be useful to share some of those conversations. Recently we’ve been thinking a lot about the unseen dynamic of power in community life, and have been wondering if there is a sort of hydraulic relationship between community space/effort and the institutional space/effort. Which is to say when one goes down or deflates the other goes up or inflates. In this vlog we discuss that and how institutional dependency can be decreased and interdependency in community life can be increased.

The conversation is 30 mins long. We hope you’ll enjoy it and will challenge and expand our thinking by sharing your thoughts in the comment section below, or you can email us directly at

Here are links to a number of references made during the conversation:

1. Henry Moore, Savannah Georgia:
2. Starfire. The work of Starfire is discussed here: Here’s a direct link:
3. Jerome Miller
4. Robert Sampson

Next week, Terry Black shares a blog with us of stories about how they are shifting the dynamic in Bristol. We’re looking forward to hearing your stories, musings and questions.

Best wishes,

John and Cormac


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