Gift's expression to be shared
Gift's expression to be shared
Photo by RF._.Studio via Pexels

It's common sense that everybody has gifts, talents and interests, despite of our current situation, personal journey, experiences, education and background. But sometimes we seem to ignore it.

When we get to grips with community challenges and start identifying our strengths as individuals and as a community, quoting John McKnight, “we begin to take creative responsibility for our families and our lives. (…) we begin to make our neighborhood safer, healthier, wiser, and richer and a much better place to raise a family. Instead of feeling alone and overwhelmed by our family dilemmas, we began to connect other parents, children, youth and seniors by extending our families. We have felt the comfort, help, pleasure and tangible support from those surrounding us.”


Card game
Card game
Photo by cottonbro via Pexels

People are the most resourceful asset in a community, so let’s explore it!

To begin, you need to make an inventory of personal assets, through a methodology called “Asset Mapping”.  This may sound like a very complex process and a dreadful job, though. By embracing this task, you will learn an easy and interactive way that will help you to (re)discover your neighbours’ gifts (experience, knowledge, skills, interests, relationships, networks and resources).

Meet up with your neighbours and have a great time together, exploring each others’ gifts, passions and knowledge, by playing a very empowering card game called “We can”. It was developed by Cormac Russel - a well-known author and practitioner and enthusiast of Asset-Based Community Development.


  1. Watch the video on the Resources section to understand what Asset Mapping is and what its purpose is. Besides the technique that is illustrated on the video, you’ll learn an alternative way to make an inventory of your neighbours’ gifts.
  2. Read “A Basic Guide to ABCD Community Organizing”, available in the Resources section, especially page 4 onwards to understand what gifts are about. 
  3. Organise a picnic, a barbeque, a coffee or a small event with snacks (gathering people around food is always a good idea!). The “We can” game will be the main bedrock of the gathering.
  4. Advertise the gathering and invite all people from your neighbourhood, including children and elderly.
  5. Prepare yourself to become the event’s facilitator and select three volunteers. Analyse what people have written in the love notes, if you have already done the Create a “Love Notes’ Installation” Quest. (Optional)
  6. Read the instructions of the “We can” game in the resources and adapt it as necessary to your own context.
  7. Invite some people to support you as volunteers. Together, you can also create a children’s version game and a card deck for kids.
  8. Print the card deck(s).
  9. Create a welcoming and light atmosphere. Enjoy and have fun together.
  10. Now that you have discovered what people care about and love, debrief them in the gathering. (Optional. Need to complete Create a "Love Notes' Instalation" about your Community quest first).



So far, have you easily grasped that abundance goes beyond the physical conditions offered by the municipality or how (un)privileged the area where you live or work is? If you consider that you live in an area where the resources are lacking to fulfil your aspirations and that they play a determinant role to thrive, probably you could have a hard time completing this quest. 

This activity will immerse you a bit in the world of Asset Mapping - the first step to get to know your community members (better). A crucial (and very interesting!) step to creatively shape together new possibilities and sustainable solutions for your neighbourhood, based on their neighbours’ talents. Moreover, these sort of  experiences create a powerful feeling of trust, support and mutual encouragement among its members.


Learning Objectives

  • Identify and list your community members’ gifts;


  • Introduction to Asset mapping;


  • Identify gifts (asset mapping) of your community members and make an inventory;


  • Gain a positive and empowered attitude towards individuals, to shape the community's future;
  • Build a believer group facilitation mindset;