I’ve noticed a lot a great on-line unpacking going on regarding assets and what they are and what they are not at the recent NEF workshop. Here’s my two cents worth…I made it short and sweet..,..as I recognise that time is an asset we have less and less security of access to…
Bill Mollison usefully reminds use that assets can be thought of through the lens of two basic questions:
"What can I get from this land, or person? or
What does this person, or land, have to give if I cooperate with them?"
Of these two approaches,
the former leads to war and waste,
the latter to peace and plenty.”
-- Bill Mollison, co-founder of permaculture
The latter quest(ion) is helpful in explaining what ‘A’ refers to in ABCD, the former what is not meant: the supra-asset is in knowing how to approach the asset(s); possessing the mindfulness by which one (a community organiser, or community leader) identifies, connects, and mobilises assets, is the at the heart of the matter and the key to ABCD. Hence, why I feel so strongly that ABCD is not at its core about Asset Mapping.
On a related point it is nearly impossible to meaningfully speak about asset from an ABCD perspective anyway, without connecting the conversation with the agency of citizens, and the inherent of value of citizen driven development. Discussions about assets that do not make this link, run the risk of running head-long into intellectual cul-de-sac