Deb Wisniewski

ABCD in Action / Sharing Common Ground

Deb Wisniewski is a committed connector who believes that our communities need us all, that we all have gifts and talents to share.  She loves exploring how we can each make a difference and discovering the hidden treasures in each community.  She is a consultant and trainer who is always learning from the people, organizations, and communities she works with.

Through her consulting business, Sharing Common Ground, Deb has become involved with a wide range of projects affecting the lives of people throughout Wisconsin and beyond. Deb’s work is grounded by the principles and practices of Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD). When we tap into the gifts and talents of people, the power of voluntary associations and the supportive functions of institutions, our communities become stronger.

ABCD helps us put these ideas into practice. Deb is a Faculty member with the ABCD Institute at Northwestern University, as well as a co-founder and lead manager of ABCD in Action, an online community with over 1200 members from over 50 countries.

Deb’s particular areas of interest and expertise include:

Working in the “Gap”:  Exploring how ABCD can be used by organizations that work "in the gap", i.e., by people who work for institutions (including nonprofits, businesses, and other local organizations) but whose work is focused on community. How can ABCD change the way that organizations do their work? What happens when we stop thinking of people as “clients” and start thinking of them as community members with gifts?

Facilitating Community Conversations, particularly using World Cafe tools and strategies: What happens when we invite people to come together to talk about questions that really matter, and to tap into their own personal gifts and talents to make change a reality?

Tapping into Technology: How can we take advantage of the powerful tools available online to make connections between people within communities as well as from around the world?

Supporting Self-Determination for People with Disabilities: What happens when people with disabilities are seen as full members of their communities, instead of just as recipients of services? How do communities and organizations promote opportunities for people with disabilities to contribute their gifts and talents?

You can learn more about Deb by checking out her LinkedIn profile:

Feel free to contact Deb with any questions you have about her work at [email protected]. She is available for training, technical assistance, organizational coaching, presentations, and meeting over coffee to talk about ideas...