It’s from fallibility that possibility arises


On the morning of November 25, 2016 (Thanksgiving Day), John McKnight (Founding Director of the ABCD Institute) and Cormac Russell (Director of ABCD Europe) sat to have a conversation about mystery, fallibility and possibility. At John’s home in Evanston, Illinois, they shared their ideas and questions on the unknown and unknowable, to the backdrop of clanking plates and clinking glasses, all living signs of the impending arrival of family guests for the Thanksgiving meal planned for later that day.

As the conversation flowed, they both began to grapple with some pretty profound questions around asset-based community development. Such as: ‘how do people engage with ideas of mystery and the sacred in community life?’ ‘How do we square the fact that we all have fallibilities, with the fact that we all have gifts?’

Both John and Cormac feel that this conversation situates ABCD outside the realm of Positive Psychology and the cult of optimism, and places it in the more grounded context and narrative of community life which is full of cracks – but as Leonard Cohen reminds us: that is how the light gets in. Fortunately, they recorded the conversation in the hope that it might spark wider conversations and additional contributions on these themes. We hope you enjoy listening to John and Cormac thinking out loud.

The Nurture Development Team

This video is licensed under Creative Commons

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1 Comment
  • A few additional/ continuing thoughts on Vulnerability here: and how the structures are often called to a vulnerability that is hard to find and do.

    April 29, 2017 at 8:19 am

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