The Connected Community
Online Course &
Two Day Retreat (Canada)

A Note of Welcome

Greetings friends!

I think this will be a very special gathering, and I can't wait for us all to be together, in a place of outstanding natural beauty and great community spirit. 

Since 2009, I have had the pleasure of journeying alongside many Canadian changemakers, including True Sport Canada, Edmonton City Council, New Brunswick Department of Education-The Office of First Nations, The Coady International Institute, Mount Alison University, Gros Morne Institute of Tourism and Tamarack Institute, among many others. 
Few other countries that I’ve worked in embody the essence of Asset-Based Community Development in action as much as Canada does. This retreat comes in response to a growing number of requests for a retreat where fellow ABCD enthusiasts can join together in a jamboree of learning; sharing and co-mischief-making. Our retreat will follow the structure of my latest book co-authored with John McKnight: The Connected Community~Discovering the Health, Wealth, and Power of Neighborhoods.
As well as the retreat, we have developed a set of online video seminars to go alongside your digital copy of the book. You’ll be able to delve into these from March 31 to get you geared up for July. I also look forward to personally handing you a signed copy of the book when we are together at Niagara-on-the-Lake.
If you can, please bring with you a story of how you have experienced the connected community and something that symbolises it.
Thank you for all you do to nurture more connected communities.
Warm wishes, see you July 26!



Dates and Times:
26th July
9.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.
 27th July 2023
9.00 a.m. - 12.00 p.m.

Queenston Library 
32 Queenston Street
Village of Queenston
Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada

Cost: £460.00 (If you want to book more than one place or would prefer to pay in Canadian Dollars ($780), please email [email protected] and she can issue an invoice.
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Course details


Phase 1: Online course of 9 modules including tutorial videos, resources and tools.

Phase 2:

Two Day Retreat (Canada)
Day 1: Discover & Connect
  • Rediscovering the Value of Community
  • From What's Wrong to What's Strong
  • Basic Building Blocks
  • Beyond Leaders to Connectors
  • Community is waiting
  • 7 Functions

Day 2: Mobilise
  • From Crisis to Connected
  • Envisioning to Collective Action
  • Now What?

Who is this course for?

This course is for citizens and practitioners who want to:
  • Deepen their community building practice.
  • Increase confidence and understanding in the principles and practices of The Connected Community.
  • Build more connected communities where they live and/or work.

What is included?

  • Online course, including pdf of book.
  • Two day retreat.
  • Signed copy of The Connected Community book Two lunches with locally sourced food. Vegetarian options available.
  • Informal evening networking on Day 1.
  • Certificate of Completion

    If you want to book two or more places, contact Kasia at [email protected] to be invoiced. 

Course contents

Training tEAM

Meet your Facilitators

Cormac Russell

Managing Director & Author
Cormac is a social explorer, an author and a much sought-after speaker.
He is the Founding Director of Nurture Development and a member of the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute, at DePaul University, Chicago.
Over the last 25 years, Cormac’s work has demonstrated an enduring impact in 35 countries around the world. He has trained communities, agencies, NGOs and governments in ABCD and other community-based approaches in Africa, Asia, Australia/Oceania, Europe and North America.
His most recent books are The Connected Community- Discovering the Health, Wealth, and Power of Neighborhoods (Coauthor John McKnight); Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2022, and Rekindling Democracy – A Professional’s Guide to Working in Citizen Space; Cascade Books, 2020.
Cormac’s TEDx talk can be viewed here.

Jon Massimi

Jon has over 20 years experience in both community and municipal space. He has helped in the development of several strategic initiatives aimed at building collaboration between sectors and strengthening communities. In his municipal role, Jon was a Supervisor giving oversight to four community centres, offering over 500 programs per session. He brought an Asset Based Community Development approach to his work, which opened space for Neighbourhood Associations and community members to be active participants in the centres work.

Jon’s doctoral work focused on the intersection between faith and Asset Based Community Development. His supervisor was John McKnight. Jon is an adjunct professor, conference speaker and guest lecturer. 

Book Reviews: The Connected Community

"Here, is a book of empowering wisdom that provides a compelling alternative to the disempowering foolishness of dominant culture. This book is “revelatory” in that it reveals, right before our eyes, available resources for community wellbeing that have been kept hidden behind a facade of technology and the busyness of market ideology."

Walter Brueggemann
Columbia Theological Seminary

"Place matters. In The Connected Community, the authors unlock the power of people at the most detailed level of social organization - the neighborhood. The book brings together a wide range of international examples, principles and practices that reflect the very essence of what it means to live locally, including the most valued, yet often invisible assets held by those creating place.” ies."

Michael Fox, PhD.
Professor of Community Engaged Learning, Mount Allison University Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada