5H’s to KTL

Discoverables, not deliverables: Turning gifts into actions!

By Dee Brooks

One way to discover the gifts that you, and others, can offer your community is through an exercise we call the “5H’s” (you can find examples of how you might facilitate this as an activity by clicking on the link above). Based on the ABCD Institute’s “Head, Hand, Heart” activity, it encourages people to explore their hidden talents, skills and passions and explore how they can, or already do, share those with others.

Once these gifts have been uncovered, and there will be A LOT, you can follow these simple but powerful steps to get these gifts organised into practical action!

Broad Steps:

  1. Create four (4) columns on a flip chart sheet (stick multiple sheets together if working with a large group; you’ll need them)
  2. Add people’s responses to the Gifts exercise in the first column, as a list
  3. Grab a dark coloured marker and turn the list of Gifts into a grid across all the columns (see picture below)
  4. Invite people to grab a pen and come forward to write their name in each of the appropriate boxes where they know about something, could (or are willing to) teach, or want to learn.



(Example from the SILE project, Makassar and Surabaya, Indonesia)


Below are two (2) examples:

  1. A broad, open Gift list as detailed in the exercise above
  2. A focused, themed list, as required


These examples are from a project I worked on with an ABCD mate, Om Dhungel, in Sydney, Australia. The project was empowering refugee and asylum seekers to share their skills, talents and abilities and work together for common good.  As you can see below, the group particularly wanted to look at how to start up a grassroots organisation.

The incredible discovery from this exercise was that they already had what they needed in the room, through the skills, talents and abilities of the various community members. The buzz in the room was palpable and the excitement grew over the next few months as these participants shared their findings back to their communities and started to gather more assets and stories.

This is how we start discovering the hidden treasures in community! This is what the glass half full looks like! This is how we build community from the inside out!

It’s as easy as ABCD!



How we can Eat our Landscapes

What should a community do with its unused land? Plant food, of course. With energy and humor, Pam Warhurst tells at the TEDSalon the story of how she and a growing team of volunteers came together to turn plots of unused land into communal vegetable gardens, and to change the narrative of food in their community.