Jeder’s Asset Mapping Atlas was only so named because we wanted to avoid the idea of levels of hierarchy or areas of importance. The concept behind this is most clearly stated by ABCD co-founder, John McKnight, who says, “Every single person has capacities, abilities and gifts. Living a good life depends on whether those capacities can be used, abilities expressed, and gifts given”.
Asset Mapping is a journey of discovery and we need to be intentionally prepared, take our time, get an overview of the lay of the land, discover the borders and boundaries, explore the miscellaneous, co-design dialogue and listen deeply with the following in mind:
- Everyone has something to offer. Everyone.
- Communities are full of resources and networks.
- Stakeholders are just friends we have not yet partnered with.
- Organisations, institutions, and departments are comprised of community members.
- Every human-created system has a crack of light, a bright spot, a spark
- Ecology teaches us collaboration and leadership through the patterns of bioregions.
So, how do we do this? What are some ways we can intentionally map what is needed?
Rules for Thumbs:
Firstly, we offer a “do no harm” checklist:
- Set your intention
- Don’t work alone
- Use clear language
- Go slow to go fast
- Be transparent
- Leave the building
- Be flexible, flexible, flexible
- Keep strengths focused
- Gifts of the Head, Hand, Heart, Heel, Human Connection
- Know / Teach / Learn Activation
- Gifts Register / Strengths Audit
- Harmonising Things Worth Doing
- Creating Economic Participation
- 6 Assets to connect, 3 Drivers for action
- 4 Questions of ABCD
- Speed Mapping
- Transect Walk
- Top 100 Partners
- Power Ladders
- Community Governance Mapping
- Deciding / Doing Continuum
- Existing and potential
- Connecting Resources Mapping
- Offers and Needs Market
- Sticky Pieces Mapping
- Edge Effect: Crinkle Crankle Theory
- Peace movement one
- Bioregional wheel
- Elemental Mapping
- Graphic Harvesting
The Art of Community Asset Mapping
Asset mapping is a vehicle for community to identify, discover and connect with each other. It’s not the only strategy to support communities but it is more than a tool; it connects people through the sharing of stories and the identification of mutual strengths.
The following three important steps to asset mapping are relationship based and action orientated. It’s so important to slow down and ensure that each step is community-led and remember; good work takes time:
- Discover the assets: the frameworks above offer a way to discover the assets in community and to explore the talents, skills and passions of individuals.
- Connect the assets: connecting the assets is where we start to see the borders and boundaries of the findings.
- Create opportunities to mobilise these assets to be productive and powerful together: intentionally creating space for ideas to emerge and grow