Cormac Russell_compressed_02Cormac is Managing Director of Nurture Development and a faculty member of the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute at Northwestern University, Chicago.

Over the last 20 years Cormac has worked in over 30 countries around the world. 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.

He is passionate about the proliferation of community-driven change and citizen-centred democracy, and has supported hundreds of communities to make ABCD visible through what he calls ABCD Neighbourhood Learning Sites.

His motto, paraphrasing Benjamin Franklin, is: ‘When it comes to Community Building, well done is better than well said’.

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.

Watch Cormac explain what ABCD is.

Some of the places where Cormac is working/has worked:

Ayrshire & Arran Learning Site.

Gloucestershire Learning Site.


Gent (Belgium).


– Norrköping and Linköping (Sweden).

Melbourne (Australia).

Singapore (Singapore).

Central Rumbek (South Sudan).

– Buurtkracht (The Netherlands).


New Book due for release late May/early June 2020: Rekindling Democracy: A Guide for Professional’s Working in Citizen Space

An Asset-Based Community Development booklet for Citizens: “THE MOST SUSTAINABLE IDEAS AND THE WILL TO ACT ON THEM ARE RIGHT HERE”

–  Full Paper (Downloadable Pdf file)

Three Domains of Knowing Expert Knowledge Collective Knowledge Personal Knowledge

–  Full Paper (Downloadable Pdf file)

Essential Elements of an Asset-Based Community Development Process

–  Full Paper (Downloadable Pdf file)


–  Full Paper (Downloadable Pdf file)

Does more medicine make us sicker? Ivan Illich revisited

–  Full Paper (Downloadable Pdf file)

Communities in Control – Developing Assets

–  Full Paper (Downloadable Pdf file)

IPJ 2010 – Making the Case for an Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) Approach to Probation: From Reformation to Transformation

–  Abstract  / Full Paper (Downloadable Pdf file)

Communities in Control: developing assets, Carnegie Publication

–  Full Paper (Downloadable Pdf file)

From Needs to Asset: Chart a sustainable development path in Subsaharan Africa

–  Full Paper (Downloadable Pdf file)

Making the case for an Asset-Based Community Development approach to Probation

–  Full Paper (Downloadable Pdf file)

Pulling back from the edge: an asset based approach to ageing

–  Full Paper (Downloadable Pdf file)

A Strength-Based Approach to Ageing Well: The Housing Dimension

–  Full Paper (Downloadable Pdf file)


Asset Based Community Development (ABCD): Looking Back to Look Forward (2015)

–  Article  / Available on Apple iTunes Books