A Powerful Community

By Stephanie Debisschop, Plan Institute

 As we celebrate PLAN’s 25th anniversary, the concept of meaningful, reciprocal and caring relationships through the acknowledgment of our innate and unique gifts is in the forefront of our minds. The return of the incredible John McKnight to Vancouver on May 5th seems serendipitous in nature; he reminds us of the joys that exist when we open ourselves to truly seeing the incredible wealth of gifts that are all around us, simply waiting for the opportunity to be shared.

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Sponsored by the Community Living Innovation Venture, and in partnership with Plan Institute and posAbilities, over 200 people came together to enjoy An Evening With John McKnight. John’s unique perspective through the lens of Asset-Based Community Development looks to map the gifts that each and every individual has.  Through the mapping of gifts, he looks to make the invisible, visible.  John spoke of uncovering such gifts through asking 4 key questions: What are your gifts? What are your skills? What are your passions? and What do you think you can teach? Such inquiry uncovers a wealth of contribution of incredible value, which further weaves the ties that bind our communities together.

Reflecting on our past 25 years, we at PLAN and Plan Institute are true believers in the power of coming together to build caring communities that are a place of real belonging for all. When we come together with our friends, neighbours and indeed strangers, the strengths that are drawn from the cumulative impact of our combined gifts is both unparalleled and unstoppable.

As we move into our next 25 years of relationships, we look towards further enriching our communities, and the lives of all those who live within them. Let John McKnight’s words of wisdom be our compass: a powerful community does not say “you are needy”, it says “you are needed”.

Graphic recordings from an Evening with John McKnight



Images created by Yolanda Liman